As I mentioned in my last post, this past week I was in Las Vegas for work. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking….“Suuuuuuure, she was there for work.” But, it’s true! I happened to be in Las Vegas, Nevada, selling books to Sociologists. True story. My reasons for being in Las Vegas were about as nerdy as they come.
Thankfully, it wasn’t all books and sociologists. I did bring the husband along with me, in an attempt to turn a work trip into a quasi-vacation. While I was working most of the time (and the husband was lounging poolside), I did manage to squeeze in a bit of fun. And by fun, I mean food. Whilst there, I managed to dine at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Il Mulino, Ellis Island Casino & Brewery ($7.99 steak dinner, which includes a beer!), The Henry (at the Cosmopolitan) and In-N-Out. There were a few other non-memorable meals, but you get the idea. We ate a lot and it was fantastic.
But now that I’m back home, I feel like I need to go to the gym for 18 hours a day. Or go on a cleanse. Or buy bigger pants. I just feel the need to do something. While I love traveling, it is hard to eat healthy on the road. I just miss (good quality) fresh vegetables when I’m on vacation. I’d like to pretend I came home from Vegas and immediately made a whole host of gorgeous vegetable dishes. I did no such thing. Rather, I had the husb order take-out Thai food and we collapsed on the couch in a relative stupor and caught up on Project Runway. I was comforted by the fact that my Panang curry did, in fact, contain some vegetables (so there!).
So then, since I just got home and I haven’t actually had a moment to cook anything yet, I’m going to tell you about a dish I made before my trip to Vegas (that I had every intention of posting before my trip. Oops!). This particular recipe doesn’t have anything to do with Vegas, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.
I made a giant batch of this potato salad one evening to accompany some Olympic Provisions kielbasa the husb was grilling. I sometimes forget that there are only two of us in our household, and proceeded to make enough potato salad to feed an army. Thankfully, this turned out to be the best potato salad of all time, and so I was quite happy to eat potato salad for 3 days in a row. The salad is packed with flavor and the green beans give the salad a crunch that isn’t often found in standard potato salads. And while the recipe calls this a warm potato salad, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it tastes just as good when eaten cold. And now that I’m back from Vegas and can get back into the kitchen, I’m fixin to make another batch this weekend. I implore you to do the same.
I’d like to mention one last thing before I get to the recipe. I would like to thank my friends at Working Hands Farm for the potatoes and beans I used to make this salad. These guys are fantastic farmers (who also happen to be my friends). Their produce is a thing of beauty and their generosity is inspiring. I’ve eaten my weight in blueberries, daikon, cabbage, green (and purple!) beans, kale, chard, potatoes, squash, carrots, and more. And it’s all because of these guys! I can’t emphasize it enough: Working Hands Farm rules. For those of you who live in Portland, I strongly suggest you check out their CSA program. They offer various sized CSA boxes, and allow you the freedom to fill your own box at their pick-up site (SE 13th and Ankeny), so that you can decide what you’ll need and use for your family. They also made a fantastic video which promotes their Endless Summer CSA campaign, and you can watch that little gem right here.
And now for the recipe…
Warm Potato & Green Bean Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
(Adapted from Dave Lieberman, via The Food Network)
3 pounds red potatoes
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 shallot, minced
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place the whole potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by at least a couple inches. Salt the water generously, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Cook green beans in the boiling water for 2 minutes (until they turn bright green). Remove from water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse with cold water) to stop them from cooking any more.
In a mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients (except parsley) and whisk until smooth.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks (1 or 2 inches). Cut the green beans in half. Toss the potatoes and green beans with the dijon dressing. Once the mixture is combined, toss with chopped parsley. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately, while salad is still warm.