Summer Potato and Green Bean Salad Recipe

A zingy dressing, crisp-tender green beans, and crunchy sweet peppers balance potatoes in this fresh take on the classic picnic side—plus more recipes to mix things up at the next cookout
Summer Potato and Green Bean Salad

Photo Terry Brennan, food styling Lara Miklasevics

The summer is full of opportunities for get-togethers on the deck, patio, or balcony. And whether you’re hosting or wondering what to bring to the picnic table, your usual ideas might become, well, usual. You can switch up the traditional potato salad with this vegetable-packed version in a zingy vinaigrette-style dressing by cookbook author and culinary instructor Molly Stevens, who created the recipe for Real Food. And you can make it ahead of time, too. You can also switch up your usual veggies and dip with a White Bean and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. For the main course, try Stevens’ recipes for Mojo Marinated Pork and Pineapple Kebabs or Cheese-Stuffed Burgers. If your party contribution will be dessert, top the meal off with a showstopping Fresh Berry Tart with Hazelnut Graham Cracker Crust. Summer cookouts never looked so good.

Summer Potato and Green Bean Salad

Makes 6 to 8 Servings

Bright and colorful, this potato salad adds flair and flavor to any summer meal. Crisp-tender green beans and crunchy mini sweet peppers balance the earthiness of boiled new potatoes, and the zingy, vinaigrette-style dressing keeps it light and fresh.

3 pounds small red or white potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces (about 15) sweet mini peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
4 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Put potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Adjust heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a second pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and spread onto a towel-lined tray to dry.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, whisking to combine. Taste for salt and pepper.
  4. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, cut them into 1-inch chunks and place them in a large bowl (see Cook’s Notes). Add the green beans, diced peppers, scallions, and parsley. Toss gently with a flexible spatula to combine. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Cook’s Notes
• When testing potatoes for doneness, a thin skewer pokes fewer holes than a fork, leaving the potatoes more intact and making them less apt to get waterlogged.
• The potato skins can add color and texture to the salad, but if they are at all bitter or tough, scrape them off as you’re cutting the boiled potatoes. To decide, before you start to cut the boiled potatoes, take a small taste of the skin. If it’s at all disagreeable, scrape it off.
• The salad can be made ahead, but chilling mutes the flavors, so check for salt and pepper before serving. If needed, add an extra drizzle of olive oil and splash of vinegar as well.
• Parsley adds a welcome sharpness to the salad, but feel free to substitute other fresh herbs, such as chives, dill, mint, or basil.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 320, Fat: 17g (Sat: 2.5g), Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 190mg, Carb: 39g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 6g

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Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.