When I was a little girl, I equated certain foods with my different sets of grandparents. I could count on my Grandma Jeffress to have things like Chuck Wagon casserole and pigs-in-a-blanket made with Vienna sausages or tacos with the lettuce wilted in the sauce and heaped with shreds of cheddar cheese.
On the other side of my family, my Grandma Kimball would make things like crispy fried crookneck squash, long-cooked green beans with bits of bacon and onions, and creamy new potatoes and peas.
Each of these I replicate on some level to this day.
There might be ground chicken instead of beef, a lot less frying and shorter cooking times on fresh produce, but the essence is there.
Recently I took a trip down memory lane when I saw a recipe for new potatoes and peas that were doused with mustard and mint instead of the cream sauce of my childhood. The only problem I have in making this recipe is that my guy is not a fan of peas. I’ve been slowly working on him, but intuitively knew that a couple cups of green peas would be pushing my luck.
Since I could taste the tang of mustard mingled with mint, I needed a legit fresh, green alternative. We both love tiny French green beans known as haricot vert and they’re a dime a dozen right now. So, they became the stand-in for the peas.
Mustard Mint Potato and Green Bean Salad
- 2 cups of fingerling potatoes washed and sorted (or larger potatoes cut into small pieces)
- 2 cups French green beans cut into 2″ pieces
- 1 cup chopped mint
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup each olive oil and cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons each coarse ground mustard and honey
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper – more to taste if needed
- Place fingerlings in a 4 quart sauce pan cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are not quite done. Add green beans and simmer until beans are al dente and potatoes are fork tender. Drain, put into a large bowl and set aside.
- While vegetables are cooking, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
- Add olive oil mixture to the warm potatoes and beans, stirring gently to coat. Mix in green onions and mint. Taste for additional salt and pepper.
The fragrance of the fresh mint and green onions was intoxicating. When I dropped it onto the hot potatoes and beans, the aroma intensified. There was just enough tang from the mustard and vinegar which was tempered with the honey and mint.
Without getting terribly dishy about things, this salad was pretty amazing and would perfectly compliment grilled meat, burgers or fish. In fact, tossing in tarragon and serving with fish would be supreme!
Cheers, and happy eating my friends –