Greeted by a bounty of green beans upon our return from vacation, I’ve been busily creating summertime salads that defy the term “salad” as it is commonly thought of, i.e. dressed salad greens with traditional salad toppings. The first was the classic Niçoise Salad, inspired by images of The Young Baker gleefully absorbing the sights, sounds, and smells of Italy and France – last week traveling from Venice, to Avignon, the French Riviera via Monaco, to Nice (where Salade Niçoise originated).
Today’s salad also hails from the French countryside and was inspired by a recipe from Bon Appétit 1994 Special Edition entitled The French Countryside.
Yes, 1994! Deep within the shadowy depths of the vast archives of cooking magazines that I can’t bring myself to part with. Bon Appétit doesn’t seem to publish special edition issues that focus on the cuisine of one country any longer, so I treasure them even more. This recipe was inspired by the Potato Salad with Haricots Verts, Roquefort and Walnuts from the article The Art of the Picnic.
My girl comes home today – exhausted from a transformative journey encompassing four European countries – the grand finalé, two racous nights in Paris celebrating Bastille Day , the French national holiday known as La Fête Nationale, as the French do. I’m so excited – can’t wait to hear about her trip!
Grilled Potatoes with Green Beans, Blue Cheese and Walnuts
adapted from Bon Appétit | Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side
10 small red-skinned potatoes, halved
1/2 pound young green beans,trimmed
2/3 cup Blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
Heat grill to med- high. Toss the potatoes with a 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette before placing on grill. (I used the remainder of the vinaigrette from the Nicoise Salad). Sear with grill marks on cut side and then lower heat and transfer to a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil to continue cooking. About 20 minutes total.
Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well and transfer to a medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, add walnuts and half of the blue cheese and gently combine.
Arrange beans on a platter. Surround beans with the grilled potatoes or mound them in the center atop the green beans.
We enjoyed this as a main dish, or you could do as the French do and include it as a side dish to a succulent roast chicken as in the article. Either way –