1+1=3 Salads for the 4th (and 14th) of July

three salad platter cropped Take some potatoes and green beans and a handful of herbs, add a little heat, and you can create three salads straight from the bistro but worthy of any barbecue. These French vegetable salads also have the benefit of being mayonnaise-free, ratcheting down the potential for salmonella poisoning during these hot summer days. Because there are so many common ingredients you can whip them up in less than 2 hours total. Impress your friends and family by showing up with a different salad for each weekend event.

Pommes à l’Huile (warm potato salad with herbed vinaigrette), is a no-fail, lick-the-bowl-clean favorite of mine from Patricia Wells “Bistro Cooking” cookbook. The secret is to dress the potatoes while they are still warm so they can soak up the deliciousness of wine, oil, and vinegar while they cool. Before serving they are tossed again with vinaigrette and a good handful of chopped shallots, parsley, and chives.

Salade de Haricots Verts a la Tomates is a simple salad of green beans, tomatoes, and a Dijon vinaigrette, made special by the addition of chervil at the end.  (Chervil is a delicate green herb that looks like lacy parsley, but with a light licorice flavor. It marries well with tender young green beans.)

Salade de Haricots Verts et Pommes de Terre is the third of this trio, easily made with the extra potato salad and cooked beans you would have reserved from the other two. Make it a meal with some crumbled bacon. Pack up all three, grab a baguette, some cheese and sausages, and a cold bottle of rose (French, of course) and have a wonderful pique-nique under the fireworks. Potato salad on plate

Patricia Wells’ Pommes à l’Huile (as I make it)

1 ½ lbs. small new potatoes, washed and scrubbed but not peeled
1/2 C. plus 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 T. best quality white wine vinegar
2 T. dry white wine
½ t. coarse sea salt (but fine salt will do)
2 shallots, minced
½ C. flat leaf parsley, chopped
Snipped fresh chives (about 2 tablespoon)
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Steam or boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and let cool briefly.  When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle cut them into thick slices or halve/quarter them.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together 1/2 cup of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and all of the wine. Add the salt. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and toss gently so that all are coated.  Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, to evenly coat potatoes and allow them to absorb the liquid.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining oil and vinegar. Shortly before serving pour this over the potatoes. Add shallots, parsley, and chives. Stir to combine.  Best served warm.

Serves 4 to 6

Haricots verts tomates verlee

Salade de Haricots Verts à la Tomates

2 pounds young, thin green beans (or equivalent packaged frozen)
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
1 T.  snipped chives
¼ C.  chervil leaves, chopped
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. (The time can vary widely, based on the size and age of the beans and Drain and rinse your preferred amount of crispiness.) Drain the green beans and immediately put them in a bowl of ice water for a minute.  Drain again and pat dry.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans, shallot, chives and chervil and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, toss gently.  Serve immediately.

To make this ahead of time, prepare the green beans as directed and refrigerate for up to one day. Mix the vinaigrette but keep the herbs in a plastic bag in the fridge.  The tomatoes can be cut an hour or two earlier, but do not refrigerate.  Mix everything together shortly before serving.

potato_and_green_bean_salad_Bon Apetit
Salade de Haricots Verts et Pommes deTerre

There are two ways to make this. 1) Take some of the potato salad and green beans from the above recipes and combine them. Add bacon and extra parsley. Serve. 2) Make it from scratch, recipe below.

8 ounces young, thin green beans, trimmed
3 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, halved
2 T. dry vermouth
2 T. white wine vinegar
2/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 large shallot, chopped
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
3 slices bacon, well done, crumbled

1. Steam or boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain and let cool briefly.  When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle cut them into thick slices or halve/quarter them.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. (The time can vary widely, based on the size and age of the beans and Drain and rinse your preferred amount of crispiness.) Drain the green beans and immediately put them in a bowl of ice water for a minute.  Drain again and pat dry.

3. In a large bowl whisk together the vermouth, vinegar, oil, and mustard. Add the shallots. Add the potatoes, stir to coat them and let sit for 20 minutes to allow them to absorb the vinaigrette.

4. Shortly before serving add the green beans, parsley, and bacon. Stir gently to combine.

Serves 4 to 6

Pommes de terre et haricots verts photo credit: Bon Appetit

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3 thoughts on “1+1=3 Salads for the 4th (and 14th) of July

  1. Yummy!! How are you?? What are your plans this weekend? We’re headed to the Berkshires in this storm …we’ll try the salads – they sound great! I hope you are well! It’s been too long!

    Love, Gale (Kuffin)

    >

  2. Darn Verlee, You’re making me hungry again!
    I was wondering if there was the same salmonella risk with home made mayonnaise with our fresh home-hatched eggs. ? ? ?

    1. Mary – you raised a good question so I trawled the Internet looking for the definitive answer. Here it is: nobody is certain about the relationship of mayonnaise and salmonella. Salmonella germs can be on the shell and/or in the egg itself. It’s passed on from an infected mother hen while the egg is forming, ergo even “farm fresh” eggs can be carriers. Chickens can carry the germ without being infected themselves so you can’t predict a salmonella-bearing bird by sight alone. HOWEVER, salmonella can be killed in an acidic environment, so lemon juice and vinegar in proper proportions to the eggs can be effective. I don’t know what those proportions are but personally, I would lean towards lemony mayonnaise. I wash my eggs with soap and water before I use them in anything, but now I know that will only take care of part of the problem.

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