Sunday, July 15, 2012

arugula, potato, and green bean salad


In my book, nothing beats a fresh, no-fuss salad for a quick lunch or dinner on a busy summer day. It's stress-free. It doesn't involve opening a hot oven on a hot day. It can be adapted to match anyone's tastes. Perfect!

I first made this salad about two years ago...and now I'm kicking myself for not making again until now. Part potato salad-part veggie ensemble, it boasts both a complex variety of flavors and distinct textures. Combining crisp, blanched green beans, creamy potato bites, crunchy toasted walnuts, peppery arugula, and a tangy vinaigrette, it is anything but a boring salad.

My only change to the original recipe was to use extra virgin olive oil in place of the walnut oil, since I had none on hand. Though I'm sure the dressing would be even lovelier with the walnut, I found it perfectly amazing regardless.

Arugula, Potato, and Green Bean Salad
Yield: 8 first course salads or 4 main dish salads

1 ounce walnuts (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 pounds fingerling or butter potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds/chuncks
6 ounces 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
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
3 ounces baby arugula

Over medium-high heat, toast the walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant, being sure not to burn them. Remove from the heat and coarsely chop. 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 in a large bowl and 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 the beans to the 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.

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.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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