Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Tribute


To honor dear mother earth, I am sharing with you my potato, green bean and caper salad recipe. After all, what is more of the earth than the humble potato, which grows in the earth?  Right.  I knew you'd agree.

3 lbs red new potatoes, scrubbed clean in a sink of cold water, unpeeled
2 cups fresh green beans (pinch the ends off if needed, cut into 1”-2” pieces)
5 eggs, hard boiled, cooled and peeled*
¾ cup Italian parsley, chopped (pack it down when measuring)
1 ½ cup sweet yellow onion, chopped 
1/3 cup capers
salt and black pepper

Dressing:
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/3  cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation:
Whisk the mustard and vinegar until combined well.  Add oil in a slow stream and continue whisking until everything is well combined.

In a large pot of well-salted water, cook the green beans until lightly cooked.  Remove beans, using a slotted spoon, and drop into iced water; this will stop the cooking and seal in that lovely bright green color.

In the same pot, cook the potatoes.  They are fully cooked when a small thin paring knife is inserted in one of the largest potatoes and the potato feels soft.  Don’t let them get mushy!  Pour potatoes (water and all) into a big colander in the sink.  Pour cold running water over the potatoes to cool them down and to remove a little of the starch.


Assembly:
Before you do anything else, take one of the peeled eggs, remove the white and throw it away.  Keep the yolk.  This extra yolk will make the salad feel richer in flavor.

Quarter the potatoes, cut the eggs into small dice and place everything into a big bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients (capers, parsley, onions, green beans) and toss very lightly.  Pour dressing into bowl and toss again, making sure that all ingredients are evenly distributed and coated with the dressing. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust, if needed.

*I usually cook the eggs a day ahead.  This insures that they are cold enough to handle when I’m ready to use them.  People who don’t like potato salad are usually converted with this one. You can add chopped pitted Greek olives to this dish for a nice color contrast.  The salty-tangy olives go well with all of the other ingredients.