arugula, potato, and green bean salad

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.


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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131 comments on arugula, potato, and green bean salad

  1. Sarah

    Looks delicious! Sometimes you just need the potatoes without ten tons of mayo–one of my favorite potato salads has shallots, chives, and a lemony vinaigrette.

  2. Lindsay

    I made a potato and lettuce salad for dinner last night too! I roasted my potatoes (in bacon grease!) instead of boiling though. And boy did it hit the spot!

  3. Pregnancy does funny things, doesn’t it? Be thankful that you’re craving simple, healthy foods. All I wanted during my pregnancies was Campbell’s cream of mushroom and tomato soups. This looks like the perfect salad for a summer’s evening – bun in the oven or not.

  4. Eve

    Wow that looks great. I had fingerling potatoes the other day and was trying to find a great recipe, wish I had this one! Will definitely try it another time.

  5. Yes! This sounds delicious! It makes me think of Niçoise salad pared down. Love blanched green beans + potatoes. And I’m a HUGE fan of nuts in almost any salad.

    If I were to eat fish with this what type would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Gabrielaskitchen — I’m useless in the fish department. Just not my thing.

      Ali — LOVE mujadarra. But I usually just buy it at Kalustyans. I’ll try my hand at it this winter.

      katiek — Good catch! I have a soft spot for spicy arugula. I like the stuff from this Satur Farms place in Long Island. It’s the one packaged arugula (or any lettuce) I forgive because it actually tastes like something.

  6. As of late, I. Cannot. Get. Enough. Arugula. Perhaps it’s my body’s way of trying to balance out all the ice creams I’ve been churning out or the day I ate half a dish of clafoutis (Who? What? It’s FRUIT, okay?). At any rate, I wish I could fashion a sort of cloak out of wild arugula salad so I could surround myself with it, I really love it so much. Point: this recipe came at a perfect time. Thanks!

  7. Ali

    This looks delicious!
    If you need a new recipe to tackle I would love to see how you would make Mujadara. I had some today and I would love to make some of my own, its vegetarian (maybe even vegan).It consists of rice, lentils, caramelized onions, raisins, and various spices, served warm with a cool salad over it. So good!
    Thanks for all of your posts and inspirations!

  8. So very glad you posted this! I admit that I am not a huge fan of creamy potato salads (shocking, I know), so this is a great, light alternative to the usual warm German potato salad that just seems so…heavy…in summer. Love the walnut vinaigrette!

  9. Yeah yeah, great salad but are you STILL pregnant?

    Sheesh woman, hurry up and have that kid already.

    You see, I’ve had four, and people used to say that to me constantly from about the four month mark. So much so it used to just shit me to tears.

    So here I am, sharing the love.


  10. hmmm, that thought you were done with leafy salads! chopped? Anyways, I hear you on devouring pad thai and when fridge drawer. a bounty of vegis remain in my fridge drawer.

    I like to go for asian slaws to jumpstart my farmer’s market consumption.

  11. SL

    I love your blog, your commentaries, and your recipes, but I wish when i wanted to print a recipe, that i would just get the recipe only, and not the commentary. (As much as i love it!)

    1. deb

      Working on it! (Like as we speak, seriously.) Anything before April 2008 as of now will only print the recipe portion. Soon, the rest of the archives will be done! And not a moment too soon.

  12. Wow, this looks good. I can’t find walnut oil in my part of the world. What would you recommend I use instead? I guess olive would be ok, but any other ideas?

  13. Judy

    That looks great! Though my daughter has peanut and tree nut allergies so we don’t keep any in the house. Any ideas for substations for the walnut oil? Olive oil? Sesame oil? Maybe avocado oil? Hmmmm…I might have to play with this.

  14. Judy

    Forgot to add I made the zucchini pizza and the yellow layer cake and frosting last night for my mother in laws birthday and it was a huge hit, though I let my pizza dough rest for too long while I was busy with the cake and it was more like a ciabatta with cheese and veggies, lol.

  15. I feel the same way lately… lazy. And I’m not even pregnant. Must be these 105 degree days we’re having in Texas. I think I would like the potatoes better if they were roasted, but that would require heating up the oven (and the house—ick!). I’ve been making dressings lately with yogurt but the idea of making it with walnut oil is totally appealing to me right now.

  16. You are the queen of salads! Do you have a book out?

    I can’t handle the taste of arugula, I can’t pinpoint why, so I may have to substitute something else. Any suggestions? It’s like geraniums – some people enjoy the smell, but for me, there’s something about them that is completely repugnant.

  17. deb

    Lauren — Don’t know where you live and what’s around you. Usually at a Whole Foods or er, “fancier” grocery store. I see a three-pack (for a great price, good walnut oil is unfortunately not cheap) on Amazon. Definitely look for smaller quantities (another reason why a three-pack might not be a bad idea). Nut oils, once opened, don’t last as long as other oils, but their flavor more than makes up for their short shelf life. You can try swapping walnut oil for the oil in one of your favorite breakfast muffins — ridiculously good.

  18. Ooh, and I’ll have to try this with a different green (my hubby does not like the rocket).

    I’ve been so tired and lethargic when I get home lately that dinner has been homemade bean spreads (umm, 5 minutes in a food processor) and oven toasted bread with cheese. It would be nice to make something a little more real and a bit more healthy.

  19. Thank you for this recipe! My parents gave me a large bag of green beans from their garden and I was wondering what to do with them– they are not the most versatile things in the world, and my girlfriend and I aren’t crazy about them on their own.

  20. Barbara

    Love this salad! Reminds me a bit of a nicoise with the potatoes and beans.

    But since I’m on a tight budget and don’t have some of these items, what would be best substitute for walnut oil? Olive or canola? And I’ve never tried fingerlings. I’m thinking a Yukon would be a good substitute.

    We don’t have any good farmers markets where I live in North Central Florida unfortunately, so it’s Publix or nothing and they’re expensive for things like unusual potato varieties, like $3.50 for a tiny bag, bedraggled though they may be.

  21. Teresa

    This looks delicious! I typically blanch my veggies in my pasta cooker – the kind that has an insert, so when the 3 minutes is up, I can quickly pull out the entire batch, let it drain for a few seconds, then dump them all into the ice water. Much faster than scooping with a slotted spoon (and less steam burns!), if you happen to have a pasta cooker like this give it a try!

  22. Arugula salads are the best! Just had one at a restaurant a couple of nights ago with grilled figs stuffed with herbed goat cheese. The whole things was sprinkled with toasted pistachios. Marvelous. This one looks so healthy. Must try when I’m back to cooking in a couple of weeks. Thank you!

  23. Sarah

    This looks beautiful.

    I’ve always thought heavy potato salad felt so much more like a winter lunch item than a picnic item. I like it, but I always skip it on hot days.

    THIS, though, this I will eat on a hot day. Thank you!

  24. This looks great. I’ve been eating a lot of my new favourite potato salad which is just fingerling potatoes, scallions, and chopped capers tossed in a simple dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, and olive oil vinaigrette over the last few weeks so must blog it before potato salad season is over!

  25. Jean Marie

    Is there anything better than fresh green beans in the summer? Peaches maybe. And all of the berries and melons. Oh, summer food rocks – all of it. This salad sounds wonderful.

  26. Robin Packer

    OK Deb, so this is the first time I’ve posted here, I’ve made your homemade oreos almost world renown (at least in my world) and I’m about to make this salad for the second time in as many days! A friend of mine has had her 8th child and I’m taking them dinner tomorrow and had a dinner party last night. I have tweaked it a bit (cause that’s the kind of girl I am), I subbed lemon juice for the vinegar, added sun dried tomatoes, and gave it a generous addition of garlic… I was going for a Greek feel. I love your site and all your ramblings!! Please keep up the good work!

  27. I made this salad today when I had a surprise lunch guest and it was just lovely! Everything came together easily at the last minute and held until we were ready to eat. I added a bit of lemon juice and a small bits of goat cheese to it for more of a meal, and we loved the flavors.

  28. Amy

    I had been dreaming of this recipe for days and when we stopped at a farmer’s market on the way home from vacation, I snagged the potatoes and arugula. SO TASTY. I used purple potatoes too, only because I like any excuse to eat purple food.

  29. I made this yesterday and it’s very good. The crunchy walnuts and snappy string beans against the soft, yielding potato– and the peppery arugula paired with the tangy, creamy dressing– make this a recipe for addiction.

    I’m envisioning other applications for the dressing (I think it would be fabulous over grilled fish), though in the future I would use less salt as my salad was too salty.

  30. amy

    Deb, I’m a stalker who has expected to love and loved many of your recipes here – icebox cupcakes, raspberry buttermilk cake, potato and squash torte, spinach-orzo-meatball soup…But this was one that I just expected to be so-so, not really my style — and I LOVED it. Used yukon gold potatoes from my garden. Thank you.
    And, as mother of a six month old, let me assure you that when I was pregnant, I ate a least one bowling ball per day.

    Notes – I used apple cider vinegar and olive oil, as they were what I had on hand, and some mixed artisan lettuces instead of arugula. Despite those alterations, it tasted fabulous.

  31. Erin

    Delicious!! Had to sub olive oil for the walnut (but just added more nuts), but this is hands-down one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. Thanks for your site!

  32. Lisa

    This recipe looks delicious, but I have a question about potatoes … I have been trying different potato salads lately but always end up with potatoes that are either too mushy or so dry such that the skin falls off in chunks from the backs. I guess I am overcooking them but was wondering if you had any secret advice like what kind of potatoes I am using or whether what you put in the salad makes a difference?

  33. Q.

    MMM. This is *exactly* what I’m craving lately: the potato-green bean combination with some kind of tart vinaigrette. I have no idea where this craving is coming from, but I must address it at once!

  34. Mac

    Delish! Used store bought green beans/walnuts/arugala, and YellowTree Farm carola sp?-heirloom taters…next time I’ll sub the vinegar with lemon juice.

  35. jud

    Lovely salad and it looked just like the picture. i brought it along for a work potluck. it was great since others brought crab cakes and chicken so was the perfect accompaniment. thanks! I had to use yukon potatoes. Maybe fingerlings just aren’t in season right now since I tried fairway and wholefoods.

  36. Glenda

    Great recipie, I didn’t have yogurt so I used sour cream (never a problem). My husband asked what was for dinner and I said “A new Smitten Kitchen recipie I want to try” he said “Great!” that’s all I have to tell him now.

  37. Brierley

    Made this for dinner last night…delicious! We added some grilled scallops on the side too. I’ll definitely make this again and use that awesome salad dressing for other salads. Thanks!

  38. Jennifer

    Made this last night and it was a delight! (Totally didn’t mean for that to rhyme). I did lemon juice and vinegar to go with the chicken I was roasting. This is a perfect go to salad/side dish that is great to entertain with. Loves it! Thanks!

    1. Amy Ranton

      Making this for a family gathering & my sister in law is allergic to nuts. Will put walnuts on the side but would you substitute EVOO, Vegetable or Avocado Oil for the Walnut oil? Thanks.:)

  39. Hi…I came across your website in search of a salad recipe as I promise myself I will eat healthier this year…I tried it last night and its great as I love arugula…I will surely be trying your other recipes….keep sharing!

  40. Nicole

    Terrific salad, yummy dressing. I used Greek yogurt and was very pleased with the flavor and consistency of the dressing. I substituted Yukon Gold potatoes since fingerlings aren’t in season yet. The potatoes are more integrated than one might think, and the dish was a subtle yet hardy addition to our grilled baby back ribs. Thanks for another winner!

  41. prklpr

    this salad is wonderful! I used red potatoes for a little color contrast, Greek yogurt and skipped the walnut oil…served it on a huge platter along with grilled, sliced steak – refreshing on a sticky summer night!

  42. Lisa

    Eating my leftovers for lunch right now and they’re still delicious! It turned out that my yogurt had gone bad, so I subbed in light mayo; and I subbed a bit of sesame oil but mostly olive oil for the walnut oil. Also used sweet potatoes instead of fingerling because they’re a favorite of mine. I would happily eat this again for dinner if there was any left!

  43. Amy M D

    I made this tonight – my 4th smitten kitchen recipe in 3 days! My son has never liked green beans, but this looked good enough to tempt him. He ate a little, but then really filled up on the leftover tomato & corn pie from Sunday. My husband and I loved it. I thought I had walnuts – but didn’t. I didn’t miss them, but am anxious to try it again with them. I also used fat-free greek yogurt, which is all I had, so I was a little heavy-handed on the oil to make up. Worked perfectly well.

  44. Emily

    This has been on my to-do list forever. Twice I ordered drab green beans stuck in a plastic bag through Peapod delivery and forgot about them in favor of eggplant or zucchini or the summer’s best peaches. Then this morning at the farmer’s market I saw the prettiest, freshest white, purple and green beans bunched together. When I noticed the fingerlings nearby I knew it was time to finally make this recipe. And boy do I wish that I had sooner. I’ve already had two servings and I’m eyeing more. So delicious!

  45. KAT

    Wow… I just had a salad for dinner and I feel this full and satisfied? I would have never thought of adding potatoes to a salad, but they’re a great meatless way to make a salad work as an entree. Fresh and delicious, this recipe was just what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing – I’m rarely this pleased with myself after eating a home-cooked meal!

  46. In Awe

    Not only does everything you have posted on this blog sound like it has an amazing combination of flavors, but somebody had to give you some credit for the outstanding photography. Everything looks absolutely gorgeous!

  47. Sara

    Yeah, so I know I’m way late in the game here, but totally addicted to your blog. My husband and I decided to eat lots of salads this week after being naughty during spring break, so I’ve been perusing your archives. Instead of arugula, I sautéed some fresh chard with olive oil and garlic. Oh my. Heavenly! And even though it tasted really rich, it wasn’t, which was fantastic. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  48. OK this simple salad look awesome. I love the simplicity of the potatoes arugula and walnuts. I am no big fan of the green bean but this is me. Yesterday i made this salad and really without thinking much and the result ended up kinda amazing so i wanna share it with you:
    base is an arugula salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.
    on top you add cherry tomatoes, salmon, paris mushroom, goat cheese and this was the completely unexpected touch: zest of lemon. I cut a lot of small zest of lemon i put over the salad as a decoration without thinking much of it and it ended up exploding in my mouth coming out of nowhere.It was blending perfectly with the goat cheese and the salmon and the arugula was doing his magic on his side. I thought i would share this here.

  49. bk11211

    Great recipe! I didn’t have walnuts, so I used toast sunflower seeds, which worked great. Instead of walnut oil, I just used canola oil. I added spring onions and some chopped parsley that I got at my local farmer’s market.

  50. Hayley

    I am working on this recipe right now, and was wondering when you cut the potatoes. My instinct says before boiling them, but I guess I’ll find out soon…

  51. Michelle

    Deb! Thanks for yet another amazing recipe. This was the star of my dinner party last night, people are still raving about it. Can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook!

  52. Stacey

    This was so yummy I made it TWICE in four days, and both times ate the leftovers for lunch the next day! It’s a perfect single side – veggies, salad and starch in one. Thank you for inspiring us day after day. ;-)

  53. Ratnawati Godjali

    Thank you for this simple but fantastic recipe! It was the best in the heat of Spain!
    Fresh but with still warm potatoes satisfying. I added only some goat cheese on top to make it a full dinner. Even my eleven year old son loved it.

  54. LOVE your website – fantastic photography and the recipes look so fresh. I’ve got a dinner party on Thursday and I’m going to try this salad. I can’t wait!!

  55. Laura

    I’ve made this many times but today tried it with whole grain Dijon mustard. It added a wonderful richness and made it even more delicious!

  56. liz

    I have recently started a challenge to myself to eat more salads – both green/leafy and other types of salads. This was the second week of the challenge and it was so, so good! I had it for lunch for the last three days, with the addition of some grilled chicken to round it out. I think I could eat this every day, it is that good. Hopefully next week’s selection will live up to this one!

  57. Sam

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. Only, I don’t have walnut oil (and I already have so many random oils/ingredients in my cabinet that the thought of buying more pains me), so I think I will use olive oil instead. I’m also going to add bacon or grilled chicken!!!

  58. Shari

    I’m on a quest to enjoy veggies and home cooking more and I absolutely love your blog as inspiration. I made this salad and it was delicious. Thank you and I will be back for much more!

  59. Made it today and loved it! Just changed the “1 Tsp” salt to “a pinch of” salt and whoops the whole salad was gone! :) Thanks!!!

  60. Gidget

    Made it tonight, having made the potato/squash torte last night — it’s been a Smitten Kitchen weekend. Loved the yogurt based dressing (I used apple cider vinegar, which is the lightest I had on hand), and the walnut oil is a must – it was such a unique taste. And, as usual, I felt like quite the gourmet cook, which is how all the recipes make me feel.

  61. kate

    hey deb,

    love love love the look of this salad, but I have a weird aversion to Dijon mustard — not sure what it is, but the taste is just overpoweringly awful to me. Would you recommend subbing a different mustard, scrapping it altogether, or is this salad not worth making without it?

    Thanks so much!


  62. Kate

    I made this tonight with a few changes – I swapped out the arugula for lacinto kale, and roasted the potatoes instead of boiling them. It was fantastic. I am sure the original is delicious too – I just had kale on hand and not arugula. The kale made it a bit hardier and more filling than I imagine the arugula would be. I dressed the kale while the potatoes were roasting to give it time to soften. Thanks for the recipe – I will definitely make this again!

  63. G

    looking for a light thanksgiving something and this looks great! i can’t do dijon vinaigrette without some shallots and sherry vinegar though, sometimes you gotta draw a line dans le sable.

  64. Janna

    I made this tonight subbing jerusalem artichokes for the potatoes. I didn’t have walnut oil so I added a bit of Kabocha Squash oil. Delicious! I’ve cooked every night this week from your site. Thank you for all the great recipes.

  65. Ann

    That looks great! Those ingredients make a wonderful soup, too! Just made some using home-made chicken stock. I added cream but the yoghurt would be good as a substitute. No Dijon was used but I did put a splash of Balsamic in it, some herbs, and sautéed sweet onion. Well, I have plenty of fresh picked arugula and a ton of potatoes so I guess I’ll have to make this salad. Arugula was early harvest…we had an extremely mild winter so it was almost 1.5 months early! It’s best if the arugula is added right before serving so it maintains most of its green colouring.


  66. Jody

    I’ve made this twice in two days – once as the ideal side for a steak and some chocolate dessert for a delivered new mom’s dinner, and then the next day another whole batch because we had friends coming over and it was so good the night before. Brava!

  67. Jeanne Strathman

    I made this last night for a neighborhood picnic. It was delicious and all of it was eaten. Used green beans from the garden, doubled the recipe and left out the yogurt. Will definitely make this again.

  68. Sydney

    This was so simple and a great light dinner! I skipped the walnuts and used olive oil in place of the walnut oil (boyfriend is allergic) and added fried capers, which turned out to be a great addition! Thanks for the idea to use up my fingerling potatoes!

  69. Sabrina K

    What a perfect combo of healthy and devine ! The creamy dressi works to perfection in binding the potatoes and arugula, the walnuts add crunch and we had spring asparagus so that was used in lieu of beans…….so good !

  70. Meg

    Made this for the first time today because my dear one brought home surprise gravlax with bagels this morning. I thought “smitten kitchen will have an easy salad that will work with my salmon!“ et voila! It even allowed me to use up the random handful of new potatoes I had in the house! So perfectly summery and easy!!

  71. Emily

    We are a low carb household, but I had some fresh garden green beans – not enough to make a side on their own – and garden arugula, and I was intrigued by your flavor combination. Decided to try the recipe, skipping the potato and adding a bit of minced red onion. I also don’t have walnut oil, but used olive oil and a few drops of walnut bitters.
    It was delicious! Next time I’d add roasted cauliflower to come closer to the potato salad texture and have something to soak up more yummy sauce.

  72. jg

    Absolutely delish. Didn’t have walnut oil so I subbed olive oil, and I used plain greek yogurt. Super, super great and the whole family liked it. Will def. make again!

  73. Laura in CA

    This was delicious! I roasted the veggies instead of blanching them and added hard boiled egg and will totally make it again!

  74. Danita

    Delicious recipe. I increased the amounts by 1/3 and added 2 hard boiled eggs cut into wedges to place on top (suggested by another reader). I also used olive oil as many suggested since I didn’t have walnut oil and it’s pretty expensive. I bet it would be really good though. I really liked I could make everything earlier in the day and then put it together right before the dinner party.

  75. Mary

    I first made this last summer. My daughter was having a rough time with an eye tumor, loss of vision in that eye and radiation therapy. I made this, grilled chicken and clafoutis all from Smitten Kitchen and my daughter said this was the best meal of her life! Deb thank you for this! Food does help bring us together and heal. My daughter is back in college and now makes this salad for herself. It is stunningly good!

  76. Lisa McEwan

    Love this dressing, made more so I can toss the potatoes and beans it in (I’m hungry tonight) before arranging over the arugula, will also add some 9 minute steamed eggs, rustic bread, and have dinner on a hot day. Thanks.