Aunt Suzy says

Just when I’m stuck for something good to cook, Food and Wine pushes out a recipe into my Facebook feed that says “make me!”.   This one caught my eye  – after all, it’s green bean season – and it is a winner!  I did only a little tweaking of the amounts and method. This is definitely a recipe I will make again (and maybe again).  This was delicious with a Pinot Grigio, but I have a hunch that the perfect match will be a dry French rose.

Margaux says

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!  This is an instant staple in our house.  I couldn’t stop eating it the night I made it, and I can’t wait until I make it again.  We had it with some crusty bread and a Sauvignon Blanc.  But I agree about the rose…we’ll do that next time.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

Update July 1, 2013 – this is delicious without the tuna as a side salad.  I just made it and served with grilled chicken and it was outstanding.  I’ve always wondered why someone would think to put orzo with potato salad, but this time I really noticed the mouth appeal of that combination and understood completely!

The Dressing

1/4 cup EV olive oil

juice of one medium lemon

1 large or two small garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)

Combine and whisk all ingredients till thorougly blended and a little emulsified.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

The Salad

1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half

1 pound small new potatoes

1 cup orzo

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes

2 six-ounce cans of tuna packed in olive oil, drained

1/4 cup chopped basil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Place green beans in a steamer, bring water to a boil and steam for 5 minutes or until tender.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  At the same time, place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until tender.  Drain and cool slightly.  Slice in half or quarters depending on size.  Add to the bowl with the green beans.  Cook the orzo according to directions.  Add to the bowl.  Add 3/4 of the dressing while this mixture is still warm and gently stir to blend.

Slice the tomatoes in half.  Chop the basil and parsley.  Add the tomatoes, herbs and the tuna to the bowl with the remainder of the dressing.  Gently toss to coat all ingredients with the dressing and thoroughly blend.  Garnish with a few small basil leaves.  Serve in individual bowls on a bed of lettuce.

Aunt Suzy says

If you’re getting the impression that Margaux and I like potato salad, you are correct!  As I said in my Mediterannean Potato Salad post, I enjoy concocting salads using seasonal ingredients.  Right now we are at peak season for arugula, radishes and spring onions, which inspired this recipe.  We are lucky to have Burning River Farm at Mill City Farmer’s Market here in the Twin Cities – they grow the best baby arugula (and many other delicious produce items)!

Fire up the grill!  This recipe – no eggs, no mayo and no dairy – will go with anything you might be grilling!

The Vegetables

2 pounds small potatoes, red or white or a combo, unpeeled

6-8 radishes

2 cups sugar snap peas

4-6 spring onions

3-4 cups baby arugula

Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until just tender.  Place in a single layer on a towel and let cool.

While potatoes are cooling, prepare the other vegetables.  Remove the strings from the sugar snaps and then slice into 1/4-1/2-inch segments.  Thinly slice the radishes – if large, cut in half before slicing.  Thinly slice the spring onions.  Wash the arugula and remove any long or thick stems.  If using regular vs. baby arugula, chop into smaller pieces.  Wrap the arugula in a towel to dry.

When the potatoes are cool, cut into 1/2-3/4-inch pieces.  Place all vegetables except the arugula in large bowl.

The Dressing

1/3 cup EV olive oil

Juice of 1 to 1-1/2 lemons, depending on how juicy

1/2-1 tsp Dijon mustard, to taste

Salt and black pepper to taste

Place all dressing ingredients into a bowl or the cup that comes along with your hand-held blender.  Use the blender to emulsify the dressing, about 2 minutes.  You can make this with a hand whisk, but I think the dressing works better when slightly emulsified.

Pour the dressing over the potatoes and mix to blend.  I like using my hands to do this.  Add the arugula and gently toss to blend in and coat with the dressing.

Margaux says…

This is the potato salad that I grew up with and that my mom grew up with.  Actually, I can’t really say that  its Grandma’s recipe, but its pretty close.  My mom changed some things, and then I’ve changed some things.  I’d never even seen the recipe until I asked my mom to email it to me last week so that I could submit it to food52’s “best potato salad” contest this week.  I thought I’d actually take a look at the original recipe, to use as a reference for quantities and such…I pretty much wing it every time I make it.  It turns out that Grandma didn’t even follow the recipe either.  So I just went ahead and made it last night, and kept track of what I was putting into it.  Here’s what I came up with:

Ripe Olive Potato Salad

  • 3 cups new red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup oil cured black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup pimento or roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • paprika for garnish
  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Place cooked potatoes into a 9×13″ glass baking dish, and pour olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
  3. In a large bowl, combine marinated potatoes, olives, celery, cucumber, pimento, onion, and one of the eggs. Gently mix in the mayo. Top salad with the other sliced egg, and sprinkle with paprika.

Some side notes:

We usually just use canned black olives, but its really way better when you get oil-cured black olives from the olive bar at your grocery store.  Also, Grandma, my mom and I have always put radishes in it, and omitted the pimento.  But when I saw the original recipe, it had pimento and no radishes, so I tried that version and loved it.  I thought it went really well with the olives.  I also got the pimento at the olive bar instead of jarred (they’re thinly sliced roasted red peppers).  My mom thinks that Grandma just didn’t like pimento, so she substituted the radishes to keep the splash of red color.  I’m wondering if she also did it because radishes were always in the garden, pimento is not.  But if you agree that pimento isn’t your thing, the radishes are also quite good in it.

Aunt Suzy says

It’s potato salad season!  I love exploring different kinds of potato salads and saw this one in a recent Coop flyer.  I usually base the type of potato salad I cook on the season and what’s available.  The nice thing about this one is that it could be made year round given the ingredients.  And what’s not to like about opening a few cans for many of the ingredients?!! Of course all amounts can be varied to personal taste!

Margaux says

I didn’t help make this one at all, but it was delicious to eat!  And it looked pretty easy to make.  I also think this would be good served warm as a side dish in the fall or winter.

The Vegetables

2 pounds small potatoes, red or gold or a combination

3-4 cloves fresh garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound artichoke hearts (not marinated), quartered (one 14-oz can drained)

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 cup kalamata or oil cured olives, cut in half

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

The Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Wash and scrub the potatoes and then quarter or chunk them so all pieces are roughly the same size.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Process the garlic through a press or mince, then add to the potatoes along with the olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven till crisp on the outside and tender – approximately 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to partially cool.

While the potatoes are roasting, whisk together the dressing ingredients until thoroughly combined and starting to emulsify.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the artichokes, red peppers, olives, oregano and parsley.  Add the dressing and mix well.

Add the potatoes while still warm.  Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.  Serve at room temperature.