Summer Italian Potato Salad: Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette

| August 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

A barbecue just isn’t a barbecue without a big bowl of potato salad. Or, at least, that’s what my husband thinks. And while I love the classic mayo-mustard based version (to which I always add plenty of vinegar), I’m constantly looking for new and interesting ideas.

The following recipe isn’t a new idea at all–it makes use of ingredients that the Italians have known for decades (centuries?) that partner beautifully: pesto, potatoes, and green beans. Based on the classic Genoese pasta dish Trenette al Pesto, which combines small red potatoes, thin green beans, basil-pine nut pesto, and a fettuccine-like strand pasta called trenette, I amped up the amount of potatoes, and got rid of the pasta. I added the lemon to give it the zing you expect from a good potato salad, and here you have the delicious results.

This is quite possibly going to become one of my new favorite summertime side dishes.

Ingredients for Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Ingredients for Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Baby New Potato and Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette

Makes 4 to 6 servings

    Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs very small red or gold potatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb thin green beans, trimmed
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/3 cup your favorite good-quality fresh basil pesto
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn or chopped, for garnish
    Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cool water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool completely, then cut them in half.
  2. Prep the potatoes. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Prep the potatoes. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

  3. Meanwhile, bring another saucepan of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp salt, then add the green beans. Cook until crisp-tender, then drain in a colander. Run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
  4. Prep the green beans. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Prep the green beans. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

  5. Put the potatoes and green beans into a large serving bowl. In another bowl, stir together the lemon zest and juice, pesto, and vinegar. Pour over the potato mixture and stir to coat evenly. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (You can make this up to this point up to 1 day ahead. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding.)
  6. Pour the Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette over the potatoes and green beans and stir to coat evenly. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Pour the Lemon-Basil Pesto Vinaigrette over the potatoes and green beans and stir to coat evenly. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

  7. Garnish with the basil and serve.
  8. Garnish with the basil and serve. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

    Garnish with the basil and serve. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, healthy recipes and guides, holiday recipes, holidays and traditions, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen. Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013. She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their toddler, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at http://www.kimlaidlaw.com.