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.

P is for Potato-Oven Fries

When learning about the gluten free diet, one of the first things a person might be told is to substitute a plain baked potato for bread at dinner. You really cannot beat potatoes for comfort, simplicity, nutrition, versatility, availability and even cost. Yeah, something that is gluten free and cheap!

planting-potatoes photo by mike_warren


Did you know that potatoes have lots more potassium than a banana? They are also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, niacin, and iron. They have fiber and are fat free, until you add some.


Potatoes are delightful at any time of the day. In the morning, enjoy the sizzle of hash browns frying, or thready potato pancakes. At lunch, imagine the toasty aroma of oven-fries (see recipe below). How about tangy potato salad, crisp chips, or simple boiled potatoes?

At dinner serve fluffy baked potatoes, or twice-baked boats loaded with cheese and bacon, or roasted wedges with fragrant herbs.

Or consider quick microwaved spuds, mashed potatoes with rivulets of melted butter, smashed reds with bits of skin and cream cheese, scalloped in cream sauce, chunky soup, cheesy gratins, and on, and on. Stay tuned for more mouthwatering recipes.

potato-plant photo by cygnus921

And you may be continually amazed how many fun colors of potatoes there are. The flesh can be white, yellow, red and blue. The skin can be brown, red, yellow or blue. The tubers may be big or small, round or long and skinny. Bored with the same old, same old? No way.

The flesh of potatoes can be starchy or waxy. Starchy potatoes are best for baked potatoes since the cute little granules of starch fluff up so well. Waxy are best for potato salad, the smooth cubes hold their shape well and do not fall apart when mixed with the other ingredients.

We planted several kinds of potatoes this year. Including a new variety called Cranberry Red, the skin and flesh are both red. And Swedish Fingerlings, yellowish flesh in the shape of a fat finger.

Turning the fragrant earth to find buried potato treasure is a real summer treat. In July and August, we will let you know how our backyard potato harvest turns out.

red-and-white-potatoes photo by mike_warren

Availability and Cost

Fresh potatoes of some kind, especially white and red, are available year round. They cost as little as 25 cents per serving. Since there are so many ways to simply prepare a fresh potato, that is what I usually do.

Organic fresh potatoes are available and cost more than non-organic potatoes. If you eat a lot of potatoes, you might want to choose organic to reduce your exposure to chemicals.

I buy organic potatoes in 3-pound bags. That is quite a bit for the two of us and it takes a while for us to eat them all. I have to make sure they are in a very dark place to keep them from sprouting, since organic potatoes are not coated with an anti-sprout spray. It freaks me out when I open the cupboard and long wormy sprouts wave at me.

Processed potatoes are found throughout the grocery store. These include dehydrated, canned, refrigerated, and frozen potatoes. These cost more, and may or may not have gluten added. Be sure to read the label.


oven-fried-potatoes photo by vsimon

The Simplest Oven Fried Potatoes

1 medium potato per person, any kind

oil, I prefer canola

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut potatoes into sticks, thick or thin. I leave the skins on.

Put on a baking sheet. Using parchment paper or non-stick foil makes clean up a snap.

Drizzle with oil and massage it over all the surfaces of the potatoes. Use a lot of oil if you want more calories, use only a little if you want fewer calories.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how thick the sticks are and how crispy you like your potatoes. The skinny fries pictured took 30 minutes. There is no need to fuss turning the potatoes during baking, please leave them alone. They will brown on the bottom where they contact the pan. And in other spots on the top and sides.

Serve with ketchup if desired. Heinz and Annie’s Organic are gluten free, as are others. Again, read the label.

Please share. What is your favorite kind of potato, and your favorite way to eat them?

Gluten Free Mother’s Day Dinner

I would like to make a special meal for my Mom. But she lives in West Virginia and I live in Wisconsin. So my gift to her this year will be delivered by a white truck. But if I could, I would make the following simple menu in her honor. Today’s menu features several dishes my Mom especially loves.

It starts with a salad that seemed so unusual, so elegant the first time Mom served it, long ago. Spinach, Orange, and Onion Salad. Fruit and greens? Wow. Now, that is not at all unusual, but it is still delicious.


photo by blair_25

Spinach, Orange, and Onion Salad serves 4

5 ounces fresh baby spinach

1 orange, sectioned and membranes removed OR 1 can mandarin oranges, drained

¼ sweet onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup thawed orange juice concentrate (calcium fortified works well)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon grainy mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Arrange spinach, orange sections and onion on serving plates.

In a small bowl, whisk orange juice concentrate, olive oil and mustard until well blended. Add salt and pepper as desired. Drizzle dressing over the salad.


My mom nearly drools at the mention of pork, nearly any kind of pork. Such a simple entree, Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin is roasted and served in only 30 minutes.


photo by tvol

Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin Serves 4

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

2 teaspoons dried thyme

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt, optional

1 1/4 lbs pork tenderloin



Preheat oven to 400.

Slide a sharp knife under sliver skin, or the white membrane, of the tenderloin and discard. For easy clean up, line a sheet pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Mix herbs together on the foil, arrange in a long line. Roll pork in the mixture.

For very tender and moist meat, a bit pink in the center, roast for 20-25 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 150 degrees.

But Mom likes her pork well done. If you do too, cook it a bit longer to 160 degrees. It is tenderloin, so it will still be tender. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Slice pork against the grain and serve. Rhubarb sauce is a nice spring sauce to serve with the pork.


Just as Mom drools at the mere mention of pork, she positively swoons over potatoes. For her, no dinner is complete with out mashed potatoes. Smashed potatoes elevate the usual comfort food with more texture, rich flavor and color.


photo by vsimon

Smashed Potatoes Serves 6

Creamy and chunky, with bits of red skins.

Adapted from Cooking Illustrated Nov/Dec 2004


2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled

4 tablespoons butter

4 oz reduced fat cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste


Halve the potatoes if they are large. Boil until very soft, 30 or more minutes. Drain and reserve cooking water. Add butter and cream cheese to the pan, cover, and allow to melt.

With a wooden spoon, mash potatoes, butter, and cream cheese. Add some reserved water to thin to desired consistency.

Save any unused potato water for making yeast bread or soup. Mom would not do that, but I would.



photo by –stamina-

Spring Peas are an easy side, full of bright green color and healthy fiber. Maybe you and your Mom can get them at a local farmers market. If it is still too early for peas where you live, use frozen tiny peas. Cook quickly in a little water and add a bit of butter and dill if you like.


My mom is known for a few recipes, Lemon Bars is one. She has been making this for probably 50 years. The original recipe adapted beautifully to gluten free ingredients. I hope that they will become a favorite at your house too. Mom notes use only real butter, no substitutes.


photo by surlygirl

Lemon Squares Yield 12 squares

Traditional, full fat, and very sweet. Just the way Mom likes them.


parchment paper

1 cup all purpose gluten free baking flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill works well)

¼ cup powdered sugar plus a few tablespoons for garnishing

½ cup chilled butter

2 eggs

1 dash salt

1 cup sugar

½ tsp baking powder

2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Oil the sides of the pan.

In a small bowl mix flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter. You can pinch the butter and flour between your fingers, or use a tool called a pastry cutter. Either way mix the butter and flour together until it is crumbly and resembles cornmeal.

Pat the crumbles into a crust on the bottom only of the pan, not up the sides. Bake 20 minutes at 350.

Meanwhile, mix the remaining ingredients together. Pour over crust and bake an additional 20-25 minutes. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar. Cut into squares.


Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

WVtrip (17) 

Mom leading me in water aerobics   photo by abush

This menu, with slight changes, appears in the May issue of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness newsletter.