15 August 2012
Potato green bean vinaigrette, deviled eggs, & fresh summer tomato
Swiftiest of Meals
w/ ref to A. E. Housman.
Swiftiest of meals, the salad now
holds all the veg I will allow;
potatoes, beans, and mayonnaise
softly sate my tongue's malaise.
Now in my kitchen's steamy den
lunchtime will soon come again.
Take from the fridge a loaf of bread,
an egg, a pear, and I am fed.
And since I love to eat my fill
I'll mix the dressing, fire the grill,
and set the table fork by knife
to serve my tastes for all my life.
This summer I seem to have forgotten about potatoes until just recently. Why? Potatoes are great, especially in summer salad form. So are hard-boiled eggs. So are fresh summer tomatoes, although no one has forgotten about those.
This combination would clearly make the most optimal picnic ever. Let's eat it!
Potato green bean salad with oregano vinaigrette
For the salad:
For the dressing:
red wine vinegar
fresh oregano leaves
garlic or shallot
Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil. While it's heating, scrub and chop your potatoes into more or less bite-sized chunks. When the water boils, add your potatoes, slap on the pan lid, and let cook for about a half hour, or until tender. (If you're making deviled eggs too, you can totally put the raw eggs on to boil with the potatoes and just fish them out when the time is up. I do this practically every time.)
While your potatoes are cooking, wash and trim your green beans. You want a roughly equal amount of potatoes and beans. Cut them into inch-long pieces and set them aside.
Next, make your dressing. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix a tablespoon of dijon mustard with a roughly equal amount of red wine vinegar. Add about eight or ten leaves of fresh oregano, finely chopped, and a clove of crushed and chopped garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Now whisk with a fork while slowly pouring in a stream of olive oil. You'll want maybe 1/4 cup of oil total per tablespoon of vinegar. This makes enough dressing for about two large potatoes' worth of salad.
If you don't have access to fresh oregano, it's fine to substitute chopped parsley, basil, or whatever other soft green herb you like. However, fresh oregano is AWESOME, so I strongly recommend that you try it.
When your potatoes are almost cooked, it's time to cook your green beans. You can either steam them over the potato pot, or just add them to the water and cook them with the potatoes. If you care about things like "shocking your green beans to keep them bright green," I'd recommend steaming. Otherwise, go ahead and throw them in the boiling water. Either way, the beans take about three to four minutes to cook through.
When both your beans and potatoes are cooked, drain them completely (you can always stick the potatoes back in the pan over heat for a second if they seem overly wet) and put them into a bowl of your choice. Immediately pour the dressing over, stirring to mix well.
Voila! A beautiful salad!
salt, pepper, paprika
These are totally standard deviled eggs. Sometimes you just want the classics, right?
Start by hard-boiling your eggs. Put your raw eggs in a pot, cover them with water, and put the whole shebang on the stove. Bring the pan to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let your eggs simmer for eight minutes. When the time is up, immediately take the eggs out of the hot pan, run them under cold water, and put them in a bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. Let the eggs sit for at least ten minutes, adding more cold water if needed.
When cool, peel your eggs, cut them in half, and remove the yolks to a bowl. If you've timed your eggs perfectly, there should be just a little dimple of dampness at the center of the yolk, and certainly no grey-green oxidized business around its edge.
Mix your yolks with a large spoonful of mayonnaise, a small spoonful of mustard, and chopped scallion greens, salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. The proportions of these are entirely up to you. Want your eggs creamier? Add more mayo. Want them spicier? Add more mustard.
Scoop your yolk mixture gently into your egg halves. Garnish if you like. A sprinkle of paprika is pretty traditional here, but some chopped herbs or maybe a slice of green olive also work.
Hooray! Deviled eggs!
1 good summer tomato
Cut up tomato. Sprinkle with salt. Eat.
Perfect! It's tomato!
(Also, if you have leftover potato salad and deviled eggs, guess what you can do for lunch the next day? Cut up your eggs, mix them into your potato salad, and have a completely delicious mess. Yes! I know you guys can't possibly have any leftover tomato.)