Whenever we can find young fresh beans, we love to make a green bean and potato salad. This salad is rustic and wholesome. It is also a French classic that I grew up with. It makes a great lunch on its own because it is filling and satisfying. You can make it more colorful by adding red and orange vegetables like slices of red pepper, radishes, roasted butternut squash. It will taste even better the next day and keeps refrigerated for 5-6 days.
Green beans may not seem very exciting vegetables but when lightly cooked, they are delicate, and a little crunchy. They are also loaded with proteins. You can make this salad with young green beans, when they are in season but also with large ones. The key is not to overcook them.
A few fun facts about green beans
They originate from Central and South America. They are also known as French beans, string beans, and snap beans.
Native Americans developed the famous 3 sisters system planting 3 crops that thrive when grown together. If you are new to this method, here is how it works. Corn is first planted so that it can provide support for the beans to grow. The beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil and the squash leaves creates shade and helps retain moisture near the root system and prevent weed. It is so ingenious!
Christopher Columbus is said to have brought beans to the Mediterranean region in 1492 but since we know today that he never really set foot on the American continent because he ended up every single time in either the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic!
To cut through the starch of the potatoes I like to use a French shallot dressing. It has a nice bite, just the right amount of acidity and spices. It is thick and brings the whole thing together. The shallots should be finely minced. We love it so much that we end up using in on sandwiches, or even as a dip. You get the idea.
By the way, this salad can be eaten warm or cold. If you mix the dressing and refrigerate the salad for a few hours, it will taste even better!
French Potato Green Bean Salad
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp vinegar (apple cider or red wine)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp capers
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tsp Salt & Pepper
- 1 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 5 medium potatoes (2 Lbs) Yukon or Yellow Finn
- 1/2 Pound fresh green beans trimmed and halved
- 1/2 red onion finely sliced
- 3-5 radishes sliced (optional)
Cook the vegetables
- Note: If using large potatoes, peel and dice them. If using small potatoes, just half them leaving the skin.
- Roast or boil the potatoes until cooked but still firm.
- Trim and halve the green beans. Steam them for 5 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
Make the dressing
- In a mason jar, add the finely minced shallot, the vinegar, the Dijon mustard, capers, salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Tighten the lid and shake well until everything is emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes, green beans and red onion. Sprinkle the chopped parsley and mix well.
- Optional: add sliced of radish and roasted beets.