Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad

bean and potato salad

garlicky green bean and potato salad photo by vsimon

You know when you have an ah-ha moment and everything works perfectly? This recipe is quick, simple, and successful. Three minutes to cook, can you imagine? In a pressure cooker of course. The stovetop works, but it will take longer, more like 10-15 minutes.

We are a household of 6 pressure cookers. Different sizes, most are stovetop models, one electric. I use pressure cookers all the time, for soups, dried beans, beets, whole grains, bone-in chicken breast, brisket, stews. A pressure is an obvious choice for things that normally take a long time to cook. You can often reduce the total cooking time to one-third the original time.

But I had never thought of cooking diced potatoes and beans in the pressure cooker. It works like a charm. The veggies are tender but not mushy, perfectly done. We enjoyed the salad warm for lunch on a brilliant sunny day on our deck. We saved the leftovers and had them chilled another day.

We loved the garlic and mustard tang of the dressing. I added some chives since they are growing on the deck, and walnuts because I think the world should be a little bit nuttier.

This recipe is from my friend and colleague Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen. It appears in her cookbook Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment. Jill also creates vegetable enthusiasm with her blog and a pressure cooking DVD.

I will print the recipe as it is written below. But I did make some substitutions, to use what I had on hand.

We used red potatoes and wide Roma green beans, straight out of our garden. Since we dug up a hill early in the season, we only had about a pound of potatoes. I did not weigh the beans.

This may be heresy, but I used generous dollops of jarred garlic in the dressing, rather than fresh garlic cooked with the potatoes. I also omitted the fresh garlic in the dressing. Cooking the garlic will mellow it, and using fresh in the dressing will give it a bite. I hoped the jarred stuff met in the middle.

If you do not have homemade vegetable broth on hand, Better than Bouillon has a gluten free vegetable base. Just mix about ½ teaspoon with water. Or use plain water and a bit of salt.

Rather than measure the dressing ingredients, I estimated and likely used proportionally more mustard.

It was the kind of dish you eat quietly, because you are enjoying it too much to talk. And it has inspired me to make more potato salads in the pressure cooker.

Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad

Printed with permission from Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen

Makes 8 cups

Jill’s notes: You can substitute wax or purple beans for the green beans in this recipe. The key to having it turn out is to be sure that the potatoes are cooked and the green beans are not overcooked, which is why you put the beans on top of the potatoes. This may be my favorite summer potato salad, and I have many.

ingredients metric measures
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, like 
   Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold
725 grams
1/2 pound green beans 240 grams
8-10 cloves garlic 8-10
3/4 cup vegetable broth 180 ml
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 30 ml
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 30 ml
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 10 ml
2 tablespoons vegetable broth 30 ml
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional) 1

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, and again in half so you have quarters. Then slice into ½-inch thick pieces. Snap stems of beans, and cut into 2-inch segments.

Add vegetable broth to cooker. Lay potato pieces on the bottom. Insert garlic cloves between the potato slices. Place green beans on top. Lock the lid in place. Turn the heat to high. Once the cooker comes to high pressure, reduce heat to low.

Maintain high pressure for 3 minutes. Release pressure with the quick release method. (Note: I run it under cold water and the pressure dissipates within a minute). Remove potatoes and green beans to a large bowl to cool slightly.

Put cooked garlic into a blender with the remaining ingredients. Process until the dressing is creamy. Pour over the potato-green bean mixture. Taste, adding salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve warm or chilled, stir before serving.

“Go ahead honey, it is gluten free!”

I am submitting this to this month’s “Go ahead honey, it is gluten free!” Hosted by Shirley Braden of Gluten Free Easily, thanks Shirley. The theme is Make Me a Happy Camper. The trouble is, I hate camping. Growing up, my family camped across this country. I always got welts from swarms of mosquitoes and pined (and whined) for a comfortable chair to sit in.

And really, where is the fun in bringing your pots and pans with you and washing dishes outside? A bit of dirt in the peanut butter, yeah, that is fun. Can you tell I do not camp anymore?

But a recipe you can do simply at home and enjoy at the picnic table could make it better. So I submit Jill’s Garlicky Green Bean Potato Salad, and will toddle off to the walking path, slathered in mosquito juice.

update 11/4/09 Real Food Wednesday

I have just discovered this blog carnival, and it is easy to support. I choose real food over processed every time. Hosted by Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop on alternating Wednesdays. This recipe seemed like a good fit for the carnival, so I happily shared it.