I’m still trying to use up as much summer produce as I can, at this point it’s like a race with the clock. One by one all the beautiful fruit and veg I’m seeing will slowly disappear, which will leave me with a perma sad and whatever sad-looking out of season veg happens to be on the super market shelf. I don’t like talking about the end of summer, but oh my god the end of summer is almost here! Usually mid-way through August Philip is the first to notice, he’ll start to panic because some of the trees are turning yellow. It happens every year around the same time, he randomly gets this look of dread on his face, followed by a Luke Skywalker style “noooooooo!”. I gotta say that I share in his angst, summers are short here and the winters are really freakin’ looooooong! Like Game of Thrones style long, I feel like I should walk around reminding people that Winter is Coming. On the bright side, we’ve still got September, that’s gotta count for something right? Right?!
On my last visit to ye olde farmers market, I basically went on a rampage and wanted to buy everything I could get my greedy little hands on, I’m surprised I didn’t run around screaming “must have all the veg!” while pushing small children out the way. When I got home and the crazy look in my eye disappeared, the realization set in that I just bought a bunch of stuff that I really didn’t need and have no fraking idea what to do with! To prevent some of my finds from meeting its demise by turning into dark liquid grossness in my fridge, I went with the KISS method, I got potatoes, I got green beans, cool, let’s do this. I found some sundried tomatoes in the pantry that have been there since the dawn of time and decided to turn those suckers into a dressing. Turns out that sundried tomato vinaigrette is super tasty but god damn does it look ugly, nothing like coating something in a brownish/reddish chunky paste. Meh, looks are overrated anyway, just close your eyes when you eat it. I thought I was going to end up with a super pretty salad since I had bought a big bag of multi-colored beans, but apparently when you cook the dark ones they turn just as green as the regular green ones, sneaky sneaky beans.
My initial thought was to smother everything in mayo, because mayo salads rule the world! But instead, with my keep it simple attitude, and the fact that I had already dropped enough money on ingredients, I thought I’d let the freshness of the vegetables stand out. Plus it’s not super finicky and considering my meal of choice tends to me whatever’s easiest I’m down with the no fuss meals. Crisp green beans, tender potatoes all coated in a tangy sun dried tomato dressing, oh and walnuts, because I can’t eat anything without chucking some nuts into it *insert juvenile joke here*. You can eat this both hot or cold, I won’t deny the fact that I ate most of it cold out of sheer laziness. Yes, some nights when I get home from work even putting something in the microwave is too much work. It’s kind of a nice change up from some of the heavier salads I usually like, plus I adverted playing refrigerator mystery produce, because when you can’t figure out what type of vegetable that sludgy stuff in the corner of the produce drawer used to be, nobody wins.
GREEN BEAN POTATO SALAD WITH SUN DRIED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE
- 1 pound yellow or red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound mixed green beans, ends trimmed
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup (about 1 to 2) shallots, minced
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup walnut or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
FOR THE SALAD
SUN DRIED TOMATO VINAIGRETTE
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and add potatoes, then reduce to a low simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork. Remove from water and rinse with cold water.
- Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and pat dry. Place in a large bowl, along with potatoes, shallot and garlic.
- In a blender or food processor, combine all the dressing ingredients. Pulse until the tomatoes are finely diced and the basil and parsley are finely minced, but not so much that everything has liquefied, you want it slightly chunky.
- Pour dressing over beans and potatoes and toss to coat. Add walnuts right before serving and give it another toss. Serve immediately with some additional torn basil and sundried tomatoes as garnish.