Pesto and Green Bean Potato Salad
Yields: about 8-10 cups Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
Antioxidant rich basil and garlic make the base of the pesto that really seasons this potato salad. Lightly blanched green beans add a slight crunch, as well as fiber, to this flavor packed potato salad!
6 cups (about 3 pounds) red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes, skin on
3 cups (about 12 ounces) fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch bites
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed fresh basil
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 cup Parmesan cheese (already shredded or in cubes works well for the food processor)
2 cloves garlic (3 for real spice!)
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1. Dice potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Keeping the skin on is optional, but I prefer the extra nutrition and texture. Cut (and trim any stems) green beans into about 1 inch bites and set aside.
2. Place potatoes in salted water. Boil for 30-35 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, stick the cut green beans right in the water with the potatoes. Remove from boiling water to strainer. Green beans may keep cooking if kept warm even after removing from boiling water, so don’t worry about under cooking in just 5 minutes.
3. In a food processor, place basil, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper (if using). Process until all combined.
4. In a large bowl (I used a 4-quart), place cooked potatoes and green beans. If using cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and add to the bowl (or add them after you mix pesto in). Mix in pesto so that everything is covered. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve.
This is a favorite and somewhat healthier take on the traditional potato salad. Mayonnaise is replaced with heart healthy olive oil and walnuts as well as nutritionally powerful basil and garlic. Parmesan cheese adds a perfect savory tang rounding out the flavor for this pesto potato salad.
While every member of our family enjoys the flavor of this dish, some don’t like the green beans while others ditch the tomatoes. Luckily, everything is cut small enough to bite, and yet big enough to easily pick out. Sounds like the story of my life making food for 5 people!
Another note – while the flavor gets better as this salad sits, the color takes on a darker turn. So, if you’re planning to serve to a crowd, make right before serving (just refrigerate right before to serve cold).
Cooked potatoes really are a perfect foundation for taking on any flavor. For company, I use the recipe above to keep it neutral. For our own family, I often half the recipe, but keep a little extra garlic and basil (I like a punch)!
Other great salads: