Sunday, June 12, 2011

String Bean and Potatoe Salad


This String Bean and Potatoe Salad has a vinegary sweet flavor.  It has fresh basil tossed in with a little scallion that gives it a little crunchy bite.  The beautiful smooth pearl olives round off the flavor and texture in this healthy Italian dish.  Served slightly warm, the potatoes soak up all the dressing and create a creamy smooth taste you will love. Impressive at your next BBQ gathering or as a side to a week night meal, this summer time classic will surely wow your friends and family and give you boost of confidence in your cooking ability.

Confidence comes in many forms. Children may get it from the praise they get for a job well done at school, at a recital or even in the kitchen. My oldest daughter, Theo is always whipping things up in the kitchen. She made a refreshing orange and lime drink the other night. I will be posting it this week because it was great. It was a drink she created with what we had in the kitchen. I often have to limit her ingredients or I will have nothing to cook with that night, so she has learned to improvise using the ingredients I offer her. We just celebrated my youngest's 1st birthday, so we had a lot of citrus fruits left over from the garnish for the beverages. I always buy more food and drink than can be consumed at 3 parties. I can't help it, I'm Italian. Thus the leftovers. Theo will gladly take any ingredients I offer to her and come up with something great. It's a great way to get her to be creative. It's kind of like Iron Chef Challenge for Kids! Ooooh, now there's a good TV series.

Theo gets great pleasure in seeing the reaction she gets from her father and myself. We are pretty honest though. I will always tell her what I really think of what she made. When I don't like something, she gets back in there and changes it or tries something else. It is as adults when we equate failure with negativity. As children, failure is simply part of the creative process.

Perhaps her cooking today translates into a confident creative adult. Not sure and I don't put too much weight on it. What I do know is it makes her a confident and happy kid. We are in no rush to have her grow up. This is a great and rewarding time for us (her parents) and her. Eleanor Roosevelt once said "There's nothing better than working hard at work worth doing". As a working mother of 4 young kids, a passion for cooking and a zest for life, I couldn't agree more.

  • 2 lbs small potatoes, any kind, boiled til fork tender and peeled
  • 3 lbs string beans, boiled til fork tender
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 tbsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 8-10 basil leaves, rolled up like a cigar adnd cut into ribbons
  • 1 can of black pearl olives (6oz) halved

In a large pot of water boil potatoes til fork tender, peel and set aside.  In the same hot water boil beans until fork tender, drain and set aside. Place string beans and potatoes in a large bowl. Add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, diced scallions, basil ribbons and olives.  Toss well. 

Servings: 10


Im not sure what chilling this side does to the potatoes, but it changes the flavor.  I always serve this warm or at room temp.  Once it goes into the fridge the taste is just not the same so be sure to store it on the counter before serving rather than in the fridge.



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