Thursday, October 08, 2009

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans

Honestly, I am not a big fan of potato salad. I enjoy my mayo in very small portions, like thinly spread on a slice of bread for a sandwich, and...that's about it. Having spoonfuls of chunks of potato drenched in mayo is just not my cup of tea.
The only potato salad that I have ever enjoyed was an Armenian recipe, which I have yet to find. It was not drenched in mayo, but complemented nicely with a light lemon sauce and cilantro. Yummy!
Pesto, on the other hand, I love! I love it in sandwiches, in my pastas, on my pizza, and now, in my potato salad.
When I was going through my daily run through of blogs, I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. It was late in the afternoon and I was hungry. When this recipe came across the page, I knew that I had to make it and I had to make it fast. I confirmed with the sissy and she agreed that I had to make it. We left for the store in a matter of seconds.
After coming home and an hour later, voila!
This potato salad is unlike any I've ever tasted. The pesto was not salty like the ones on pizzas and pastas. The green beans were tender and added a very mild flavor. Best of all, it can be eaten hot or cold.
Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Note: To add a special alteration, I used hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. It was a fine choice, if I do say so myself.

4 pounds small Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments
1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons (or more to taste) mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamic
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook for four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.

2. Discard the stems from the basil and wash and dry the leaves. Puree them in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.

3. Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto.

4. Stir in vinegar, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste.

5. Finally, shave some wide flecks of parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler.

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