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Italian Green Bean Potato Salad combines tender red potatoes, fresh green beans and cherry tomatoes in an herby lemon dressing. Make this for all your cookouts and parties!
Every Italian family has their version of an Italian Green Bean Potato Salad – and today’s recipe is ours.
This easy, oil-based potato salad skips the mayonnaise in the dressing so the fresh vegetable flavors have a chance to really shine. (No mayo also makes this the ideal salad to bring to a summer cookout…it holds up nicely for a few hours, even with no refrigeration.)
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- New Red Potatoes – Choose medium-sized New Red potatoes for this salad. (Buy loose potatoes rather than a bag so you can select the right size.) The potatoes will be cooked with skin still-on and peeled after cooking, so you want each potato to be large enough to handle for peeling.
- Fresh Green Beans – Use any variety of green bean available in your market. If you live in an area that sells the large, long pole beans, those will work just as well as the standard string bean. French style beans can also work. Yellow wax beans would be good, but would get lost against the color of the potato and make the salad not as vibrant. Just note that each variety of green beans cooks for different times to be tender – so adjust accordingly.
- Cherry tomatoes – Grape tomatoes can also be used. The tomatoes add a bright red pop of color, as well as bright, fresh flavor to the salad.
- Fresh mint – This herb complements the other flavors, and really makes this potato salad stand out from other recipes. Don’t worry – it won’t taste overly minty.
- Lemon Dressing – A simple dressing is made with a quality extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh parsley, spicy brown mustard, fresh garlic, salt and pepper.
Chef’s Tip –
Cooking the potatoes with the skin still-on helps prevent water from absorbing into the potatoes as they cook. making them mushy. Peel warm by holding one side of the potato with a kitchen towel and using a small paring knife to scrape off the skin. Sometimes you can start it and then just peel the skin off with your fingers, other times you need the knife to scrape all of the skin. I usually scrape the top half, flip it then peel the skin right off. Use the knife to remove any imperfections before slicing.
How do I make Italian Green Bean Potato Salad?
- Boil the potatoes, skin-on. As each potato becomes tender, remove from the boiling water, then peel (as soon as it’s cool enough to handle) by scraping off the skin with a paring knife. Slice and place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. This process assures the potatoes will not absorb the cooking water and be mushy. The coating of oil, seals the cut so each slice does not get soggy from absorbing too much dressing.
- Mix the dressing, then set aside. Once all of the potatoes are sliced, add the dressing to the warm potatoes. As the potatoes cool, the flavors are absorbed.
- Trim the green beans. Then cook them in the same potato water with salt and baking soda added – just until they are tender, then immediately plunge them into an ice bath. (The baking soda keeps the beans green a nice vibrant color. The ice bath stops the cooking process.) Drain and pat dry.
- Combine the cooled and dressed potatoes with the blanched green beans, then add the tomatoes and mint. Toss to combine, then serve – drizzling with a little more olive oil if you’d like.
- Serve your Italian Green Bean Potato Salad warm, room temperature or chilled.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make Italian Green Bean Potato Salad ahead of time? Yes! In fact, this salad is best made a day ahead so the flavors meld together.
How do I store leftovers? Cover tightly then store refrigerated for up to three days.
You might like these other potato salad recipes:
- Jack’s Potato Salad
- Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Sweet and Sour Bacon Dressing
- Whole30 Cauliflower and Yam ‘Potato’ Salad
- Italian Potato Salad
- Grilled Yellow Potatoes with Mustard Sauce
3 pounds New Red potatoes (medium-sized and uniform)
½ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
Zest of ½ lemon
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup sweet onion, diced small
2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic
¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon brown spicy mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ pound fresh green beans (string, pole or French style)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
¼ cup fresh mint, leaves torn
Clean the potatoes of any visible dirt and place the skin-on potatoes into a 4-5-quart pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil and boil on a medium heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Depending on the size, between 20 and 30 minutes. Do not discard the potato water.
As the smaller potatoes are done, remove with a spider or strainer to your cutting board and once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off with the blade of a small paring knife. Hold the potato from sliding with a kitchen towel as you peel.
As each potato is peeled, slice into thick slices and place in a large mixing bowl and drizzle on a little of the olive oil. Keep removing, peeling, slicing and oiling until all of the potatoes are done. Use ¼ cup of the oil in this step. Set aside.
The potato water will be used in a future step, do not discard.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, onion, garlic, parsley, mustard, one teaspoon of the salt, pepper and two tablespoons of the oil, then add to the potatoes and toss. Set aside.
Heat the potato water back to boiling and add the second teaspoon of salt as well as the teaspoon of baking soda. The soda will keep the beans green in color.
Add the green beans and cook just until tender, but still with a little crunch. Timing will vary depending on the type and size.
Have a bowl of ice water waiting and when the beans are cooked, drain them into a colander then plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and pat dry on paper towels.
Add the blanched cooled green beans, the cut cherry tomatoes and the torn mint and toss. Taste, add more salt and pepper as needed and toss again.
Pour into a serving bowl and drizzle on the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and serve.
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