Thursday, July 16, 2009

arugula, potato and green bean salad

arugula potato and green bean salad with walnuts

I wasn’t kidding last week when I said that I have staged an intervention with myself and am trying my hardest to cook more things at home that can be even loosely construed as dinner. I mean, somehow the farmers markets are bursting with beans and greens and peppers and potatoes and peaches and… And I ate (average) pad thai for lunch. It doesn’t even compute.

arugula

But I still only want simple food. When food is this fresh, little needs to be done to make it stand out, which is perfect as I’m exactly lazy enough right now that I barely want to fuss. I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart a few weeks ago when I was trying to dream up a potato salad that wasn’t so… weighty. Basically, I wanted my potatoes but I didn’t need them swaddled in mayo or sour cream or chopped eggs and pickles… at least not every day.

fingerling segments


And this deliciousness totally fit the bill: Sharp arugula, barely-cooked green beans (I’m seriously addicted to green beans this summer), coins of fingerling potatoes and my favorite, toasted walnuts and a lightly creamy walnut vinaigrette. It’s a potato salad, sure, but a potato salad fit for weekday nights, like after the gym with a couple beach weekends on the horizon. Just because one looks like they swallowed a beach ball doesn’t mean they have to eat like it everyday, right?

arugula, potato and green bean salad

One year ago: Salad Olivier
Two years ago: Red Bean Chili

Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad, with a Creamy Walnut Dressing
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 8 small salads or 4 larger ones

1 ounce walnuts (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
6 ounces haricots, verts, or other green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
2 tablespoons white wine or other mild vinegar
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons walnut oil
3 ounces baby arugula

Preheat oven to 375°. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop and set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a colander to drain and cool. Set aside.

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Return pan of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Drain.

Whisk together vinegar, yogurt, mustard and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; season with pepper. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Set dressing aside.

Arrange arugula, potatoes, and green beans on a platter. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts; toss to coat.


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