When August hits, the end of summer becomes visible. I try to ignore it and focus on whatever plans I have left, but that little fact is always tucked away somewhere in the back of my head. So I do whatever I can to contain it. I eat corn and Caprese salad every day. And I pick all the basil off of my plants and make pesto by the pint. You can freeze pesto, with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top and enjoy it throughout the year. I always keep some on hand, because if you have pesto, chances are, you have dinner. I mix it with pasta, tomatoes and mushrooms for a good lunch, throw in some chicken if I want to call it dinner, and swap it for tomato sauce on pizza if I’m looking for a change. If I eat enough pesto, I can convince myself. I can pretend like summer will last forever.
Last summer, Deb introduced us to another salad that is a true summer staple for me. Pesto potato salad with green beans. It will work for the final barbecues of the summer and will take you into football season as well. Personally, salads with mayonnaise just don’t appeal to me in the slightest, and this is the most wonderful alternative. Each time I serve it to friends, at least one person asks me for the recipe.
As written, Deb’s recipe serves 10. I have adapted the heck out of the amounts each time I make it to fit the size of the crowd I have to feed.
You will need:
- 4 lbs. small Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered (I’ve used both and find that the waxy Yukon Golds hold up better if you’re not eating this all at once)
- 1 lb. green beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 – 1 1/2 C your favorite pesto (please make your own)
- 6 T white wine vinegar
- 1/4 C chopped scallions
- 1/2 C toasted pine nuts
- Parmesan cheese, to taste
Boil the potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes, depending on their size. Deb does not cook her green beans, but I do…throw the green beans in for the final 4 minutes of cooking. This will take them just beyond blanched and will brighten up their color. Drain and let cool completely. Now all you have is a mixing game.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients, and shave big old-chunks of parmesan over the top of your salad.
Or, if you’re like me, grate the heck out of a block of cheese right in your own little bowl.
Oooh, I want some and it’s 7:55 a.m.