Green Bean Potato Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Okay, right off the bat I have to tell you that yours truly took the above photo.  I don’t think I’m anywhere near Ryan’s level yet (although in my defense, he has been doing it for over fifteen years and happens to be amazingly talented), but I think I’m off to a good start!  He’s been giving me some photography lessons of late so that I can eventually take over as he’s getting busier and busier with work.

So, onto the food!  One of my favorite summer dishes is a simple potato and green bean salad with a vinaigrette dressing.  You know me and potatoes… it’s hard for me to not like anything even associated with them.  Green beans were one of the only vegetables I used to eat, so they’re a favorite as well.  You can use any type of green bean here, but I prefer thin haricots verts.

There was a feature on ways to use a basic vinaigrette in the magazine Real Simple years ago.  I copied the pages from my Mom’s issue and made that version many times over the years.  For some reason I always misplace the recipe, but I’ve made it so many times that now I just improvise.  The original calls for lemon juice, but you can play with different vinegars and use whatever you have on hand.  I think the original called for honey as well, so I use agave nectar instead.

This salad would be perfect to bring to a picnic or barbecue, or just to have alongside a sandwich for a nice lunch.  I also sometimes add bac’un bits or tempeh fakin’ bacon if I feel like it.  I didn’t this time, but it’s a nice addition that makes the flavor a little more hearty.

Green Bean Potato Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

10 ounces green beans
20 ounces baby potatoes
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 teaspoons minced chives
2 teaspoons minced tarragon
salt & pepper, to taste

Wash the potatoes and cut them in half.  If they’re large you can quarter them.  Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with fresh water.  Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Once they’re easily pierced and slide off the knife or fork used to test them, drain them and put them in a large bowl.

While the potatoes cook, you can either steam or boil the green beans.  Tip and tail them, and slice them into about 1 to 1 1/2-inch lengths.  Make sure they’re cooked enough to not be squeaky (this drives me crazy!), but not so much that they aren’t overcooked and mushy.  I just keep tasting them to make sure they’re the texture I like.  Drain them, and add them to the bowl with the potatoes.

For the vinaigrette, mince the shallot and add it to a small bowl.  Pour the white wine vinegar over the shallot, stir, and let the mixture set for a couple of minutes.  Add the olive oil in a thin stream while you whisk, and then add the mustard and agave nectar.  Whisk the vinaigrette well to incorporate everything, and add salt and pepper  to taste.

Pour the dressing over the hot potatoes and green beans, and toss to coat.  This will keep well in the fridge over night, but it’s best served at room temperature.

Notes: If you don’t have fresh herbs you can use dry.  Just start by adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dry and add more to taste if needed.  You can also use other herb combinations, or just leave them out altogether.  Don’t worry about have exactly the measurements listed – I just used those because they happened to be the amounts I grabbed at the farmers market.  You can always double the vinaigrette if you need to, or save some of it for a different salad if you have too much.

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5 Responses to “Green Bean Potato Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette”

  1. Well done on the photo, it is stunning! It definitely has me drooling. I love potato and green bean salad, and a shallot vinaigrette would be the perfect dressing. Dinner tonight…..I think so!

  2. dang – this is genius. i was just thinking about what to do with the green beans and potatoes in my fridge. i’m going to make some version of this… looks great!

  3. Thanks for the recipe, I tried it last night! Didnt have any shallots or chives, so I subbed in some diced sweet onion, but my husband and I really enjoyed it. For such a simple dish, it had a lot of unique flavor and we thought it was an improvement on typical potato salad.

  4. Hi, Erin – so glad you liked it!


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