Garden Potato Salad
Nothing says “summer is soon coming to an end” quite better than this Garden Potato Salad… Sad, I know!
That doesn’t mean, however, that you should hate that poor thing right from the get go! It’s not an evil salad, I swear. After all, it doesn’t WANT to be the bearer of bad news. That’s just the way it was created… that path was already chosen for it.
Besides, as much as I like summer, I don’t think that there’s another season that quite matches fall. The air gets dryer and colder and carries the most deliciously fresh fragrances; the leaves take all kinds of beautiful shades of reds and yellows and oranges…
But most of all, fall rhymes with one major, delightful event: CROPS!
Tons and tons of my favorite vegetables, fresh from the garden: beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, squash, eggplant, to name a few.
And this particular salad makes such great use of these earthy vegetables.
I’m telling you, once you’ve had a taste of it, not only will you gladly forgive it for bringing summer to a close, but you’ll actually look forward to the change of season, so that you can enjoy it once again!
The salad does require a little bit of prep, though, that’s why I like to make big batches. Besides, it will remain good for close to a week, so you might as well make more than you need. I can guarantee you that the leftovers are not gonna go to waste.
Start by trimming the ends off the beans, and then cut them in half. I like to use half green and half yellow, but feel free to use all of one color if you want!
Then, you also need to peel and slice the carrots, and cut the potatoes into bite size chunks.
For the potatoes, I like to use new potatoes and usually go for a mix of yellow fleshed and red skinned, but again, feel free to use your favorite variety.
Those potatoes, you will need to boil in a large saucepan, in salted water, until they are fork tender. Be careful not to overcook them, you don’t want them to get all mushy on you. So keep a close eye on your little baby tubers.
When they are cooked to your liking, you’ll want to drain them and allow them to cool slightly, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, you’ll want to cook the carrots and beans, also.
The way I like to do it is I place my carrots in a saucepan for which I have a steam basket that’s designed to sit right on top.
I then add salted water to that saucepan, place the beans in the steam basket, and cook both at the same time. They should be ready at about the same time, but still, I check on them every so often just to make sure no one gets overcooked.
If you don’t have such a steam basket, cook them in two separate pots. The important thing is that you let them retain a little bit of a crunch, especially the beans!
As soon as the carrots and beans are done cooking, you want to drain and plunge them right into a bath of icy cold water, to stop the cooking process, as well as retain their vibrant colors.
Don’t skimp on the ice when your prepare your water bath, as the hot vegetables will warm up that water in no time. I usually add 2 to 3 full racks of ice cubes to my bowl, and as you can see in the picture, it melts quite fast! There were barely a few little half melted cubes left after a few minutes of soaking.
Once the beans and carrots are good and cold, you can drain them. This is how I like to do it, to make sure my vegetables get rid of as much water as possible.
I place them in a colander, then place the colander in a large mixing bowl. That way, I know they will be nice and dry when I’m ready to finish the salad. The vinaigrette will adhere much better to dry vegetables!
Speaking of which… while those vegetables are draining, drying and cooling, we’ll get busy making that vinaigrette.
This one is particularly easy to make, too: simply place all the ingredients in a glass measuring cup or similar container and mix well with a flat whisk until well combined and slightly emulsified
Then, place all the vegetables in a very large salad bowl, add the fresh parsley and vinaigrette and toss delicately until all the veggies are evenly coated.
And there you have it. You can choose to serve your salad immediately but you could also make it ahead of time and serve it cold, if you wanted to.
Besides, like I said earlier, it will keep very well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
IF it ever lasts that long…
I get the feeling that you may very well end up getting out of bed in the middle of the night for a little bite, or bowl!
- 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 1 lb wax beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
- 3 lb red and yellow new potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large saucepan, boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender, then drain and allow them to cool slightly, for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pot, cook the carrots in slightly salted water until fork tender, then drain and plunge in a bath of icy cold water to stop the cooking.
- Steam the beans for a couple of minutes, until tender but still slightly crunchy, then immediately plunge them in a bath of icy cold water to stop the cooking.
- Drain the cooled beans and carrots.
- While the vegetables are draining / cooling, make the vinaigrette: place all the ingredients in a glass measuring cup or similar container and mix well with a flat whisk until well combined and slighlty emulsified
- Place the beans, carrots and potatoes in a very large salad bowl. Add the fresh parsley and vinaigrette and toss delicately until all the veggies are evenly coated.
- This salad can be served immediately but it can also be made ahead of time and served cold.
- It will keep well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.