If there is one thing I love about spring and summer, it’s all the fresh produce. Which means there are endless options for salads and I am not just talking green salads. I’m thinking BBQ and picnic salads, which for me mostly brings up thoughts of potato salad, coleslaw and pasta salad. The classic pack and go type. Though, for me there is only one type of potato salad — one without mayonnaise, just like this potato and green bean salad.
Who says potato salad needs mayo?
Of course, there are a million other people who will agree that there is nothing better than a creamy potato salad with mayonnaise, but I’m not one of them. Instead of mayo, this potato and green bean salad is dressed with a simple mix of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a little zest, my favorite olive oil and fresh mint. Fresh summery flavors.
Potato and green beans – a classic combination
I’m a big fan of potatoes and green beans together — whether tossed in a tahini dressing with fresh flat-leaf parsley, or in a simple version with sweet juicy cherry tomatoes and a tasty Dijon-dressing, or even something as effortless as tossing them together with fresh summer pesto. For this salad, I used small new potatoes, locally grown and fresh from the farmer’s market. There are so many varieties to choose from, I choose white ones but if red-skinned potatoes are available then those are one of my first picks. What I love about new potatoes is that they have a thin skin, which means they really don’t need to be peeled — at least as far as I am concerned. But I guess to peel or not to peel, it’s a personal preference.
A potato and green bean salad recipe inspired from a favorite lentil recipe
This recipe is actually based off a sort of similar recipe that I posted on my blog quite a while back. A beluga lentil recipe that I have made umpteen times and still love today: beluga lentils with prosciutto, green beans, cilantro & mint. Okay, I love lentils so it will still be my first pick over a potato salad, any day. But from time to time, I do get inspired by all those young new potatoes at the market and just feel the need to try out yet another healthy version of a salad made from a vegetable that is pretty much a staple in every kitchen — the potato.
So here were are, a potato and green bean salad with prosciutto and fresh herbs that it’s filling enough to enjoy all on it’s own for two. It also makes it a great side item to bring to a BBQ. Gorgeous green beans are my favorite choice, but a mix of green and yellow wax beans is also a nice combination. I’ve included some crisp fried prosciutto in this recipe, since I have a weakness for its salty flavor (and we know salt and potatoes love each other), however for a vegetarian or vegan version, feel free to of course leave it out.
For the salad:
500 g small new potatoes, scrubbed clean
250 g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
100 g paper-thin slices prosciutto di Parma, trimmed of excess fat and coarsely chopped
1 medium red onion, cut in half and very thinly sliced
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves removed (alternatively, use fresh flat-leaf parsley)
For the dressing:
juice from 1 1/2 large organic lemons
zest from 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Place the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a simmer on high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes (or more, depending on the size of the potatoes — it’s a good idea to check frequently for doneness), until pierced easily with a fork or a sharp knife. Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature (or slightly warm).
2. While the potatoes are cooking, bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans. Blanch until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Set aside.
3. In a small non-stick skillet, add the prosciutto and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly crisp and browned, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.
4. To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, mint, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them in half or quarters and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the green beans, crisp prosciutto, red onion and fresh cilantro (or parsley). Toss with the dressing. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
TIP: If making ahead, feel free to let marinate until ready to serve. Once ready to serve, toss with the cilantro. Cilantro wilts easily, so best to add right before serving. Parsley on the other hand stands up well.
I went heavy on the green beans for this salad, so if you prefer potatoes to be more the focus then feel free to increase the amount of potatoes in this recipe.
If you make this Potato and Green Bean Salad with Crispy Prosciutto recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out for you! Be sure to rate it and leave a comment below to let me know! Especially if you have tips for other readers. Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram @ellerepublic and don’t foget to hashtag #ellerepublic so I don’t miss it!