Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans

Oh, Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans, what can I say about you?

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

I'm not much of a poet, so I should stop right there, but being that today is the official first day of summer, I thought you needed this salad. Because it is tailor-made for summer.

When it's hot out, I like a light, vegetarian meal, and this fits the bill nicely. But if you like some meat with your potatoes, this would go very well as an accompaniment to burgers or brats.

Grab a big ole pot, and fill it with some delicious, waxy-skinned potatoes and enough water to just cover. Get it boiling, and let it go for a bit. While that's working, whip up a batch of Spinach and Avocado Pesto. When your potatoes are a couple minutes from being done, toss in some green beans. Then, when the potatoes are tender, drain the whole kit & caboodle, and toss it with the pesto.

Serve it warm, or chill it. Either way, it's lovely. If you really wanted to, bacon is hardly ever a bad idea, and would be a great complement to this dish. Just sprinkle some on top!

 You can use any pesto you like, but I strongly recommend the avocado pesto, because it's my favorite, it's delicious, and because the avocado gives it this lovely creaminess, so it has a bit of a mayo effect, minus the possibility of food poisoning when things the weather heats up.

One caveat, though, remember if you use the avocado pesto that the top layer will probably oxidize as it chills or sits out. If you keep it covered with plastic wrap, you should be able to stir it up to reveal the beautiful, vibrant green from underneath. What can I say, it's a necessary evil when one partakes of avocado goodness.

Seriously, this salad makes me want to throw a pool party. Anyone have a pool I can have borrow?

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans

1 lb. potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces (I like red or yukon gold for potato salad -- waxy and less starchy)
1 lb. green beans (not too thin), cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 recipe Spinach and Avocado Pesto or 1 1/2 c. (give or take) prepared pesto of your choice
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in large pot and fill with enough water to just barely cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until fork tender. Drain. Meanwhile, prepare green beans and steam until also fork tender. (I have a steamer  basket that fits atop my big pot, so I use the steam from my potatoes to cook the beans at the same time. You could easily use the microwave if you don't have a similar set-up available., or add them to the boiling potatoes in the last few minutes.)

Combine with pesto in a large bowl and serve immediately, or refrigerate for an hour or two. Taste and adjust seasoning. Can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature -- great for picnics or potlucks!

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