Practicing Creativity

Easy New Potato and Green Bean Salad

I've always enjoyed buying local, and choosing food according to the seasons. It is something I've come to appreciate even more living in France. In France, stores and markets are obliged to give the country of origin for produce, so you know where what you're buying has come from. Local might be a tad more expensive, but it's definitely worth the price. I saw these grenaille (new) potatoes and fresh French haricot verts (green beans) in our local produce shop last week and snapped some up (as it pertains to the green beans I mean that literally). 

I adore grenaille potatoes. It could be that I'm a lazy cook and the fact that they don't require peeling is part of it, but the truth is they are so tasty and easy to prepare, you can use them in countless ways. If you're walking around a French market and you see grenaille potatoes, know what these are. Grenaille is a category of potato, not a variety of potato. Grenaille potatoes are less than 35 mm (about the size of your thumb) and are harvested from around the 1st of April to the end of July. They are firm when raw, but yield to buttery goodness when cooked, with just a hint of sweetness. There are several different varieties of grenaille potatoes, délicatesse (the type I bought), ratte, chérie, charlotte (not to be confused with the strawberry of the same name), anoé, and princesse amandine are some of the most popular.

One of my favorite ways to prepare them is a simple new potato and green been salad. Below are the measurements I used this time, which would generously feed four to five people as a side, but can be easily adjusted up or down depending on your needs.

Easy New Potato and Green Bean Salad

400 gr. of small new potatoes 
700 gr. of fresh green beans
2 gloves of garlic crushed or minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
optional – 1 hard boiled egg chopped
salt & pepper to taste 

Wash your new potatoes, but do not peel! Wash green beans, snap off the stem ends, then snap into smaller pieces. I snap off the pointy tips as well, but you don't have to. 

Combine the new potatoes and green beans in a steamer and steam for around 40 minutes. Steaming time will vary depending on the size of your new potatoes and type of green bean. Also, whether you like yours softer, or with a bit of crunch. I prefer softer.

When you have finished steaming, transfer to large mixing bowl and add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. A hard boiled egg is a delicious addition and I'll often add one of those, too.

You can eat this salad warm, or move it to a covered container in the frig and later eat it cold. It's a nice accompaniment – warm or cold – to just about everything.

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