Prep 5 mins Cook 10 mins Eat 15 mins
You are going to fall in love with this easy to make – ready in 15 minutes Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Pesto Salad. It’s a salad. It’s a vegetable dish. It’s a side dish. It’s vegetarian and you could make it vegan. It’s perfect for summer, perfect for a potluck and perfect for a weeknight meal. Serve it at room temperature or straight out of the refrigerator.
I was inspired to make the Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Pesto Salad to go with some shrimp on the bar-bee for a sailing trip to Catalina Island. It was going to be our side dish for the shrimp…that is until I realized I forgot the pesto sauce at home…more on that in this post
I tasted this dish at a Melissa’s Produce event featuring Amy Riolo and her new book, “The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet cookbook”. Green Beans, Potatoes and Cherry Tomatoes with Pesto, called “fagioli con patate e pomodori pacchini al pesto” in Italian was the standout on the menu for me. Many of my food blogger friends agreed.
Start with fresh ingredients. I took home fresh Dutch Yellow Potatoes, French Haricot Vert (slim green beans), Heavenly mini San Marzano Tomatoes from Melissa’s Produce for this dish. I used Arianna Trading Company’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the pesto.
How easy was it to make? Add the small new potatoes to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the green beans and cook at a simmer.
While the vegetables are cooking, make the pesto in a food processor, which will take one minute. I like to process the garlic first in a dry bowl. Add the fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil and process until minced. If you are cooking on a sailboat or camping and don’t have power, you’ve got to get this manual food processor.
So cool. I’ve used one like this on the boat to make salsa and more.
The pesto is almost a paste, but you can still see the individual components. The parmesan cheese is blended in last by pulsing.
The final step is to combine the ingredients in a salad bowl and toss with just enough pesto to coat the vegetables.
Serve the Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Pesto Salad to your guests at your next gathering. They will marvel at all the flavors going on – the creamy potatoes and parmesan, the nutty flavor from the pine nuts and the flavorful sweet summer tomatoes and fresh basil. It reminds me of a dish I had made years ago – a classic out of Marcella Hazen’s book, “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking“, ‘Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans’, made with new potatoes, young green beans and spaghetti or fettuccine. It’s a combination you wouldn’t expect, but according to Hazen, classically Genoese, from Genoa, Italy.
It had never occurred to me to leave the pasta out and just enjoy the vegetable combination until I met Amy Riolo and her recipe. Of course, by all means add in some spaghetti or fettuccine to this recipe if your heart desires or a twisted pasta called trofie from the Ligurian region, which according to Riolo, is the classic combination. It will add calories, but stretch the recipe out to feed more hungry mouths.
Green Bean, Potato, Tomato and Pesto Salad
1 1/2 pounds Baby Yellow Potatoes (I used Melissa’s peewee Dutch Yellow Potatoes)
1 pound green beans, preferably haricot vert, stems removed
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 clove garlic
3 cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper ( to taste)
1. Add potatoes to a pot of water. Bring to a boil and then add the green beans. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork and the green beans are tender. To prevent green beans from discoloring, do not cover. Drain vegetables and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Place into a salad bowl.
2. While the vegetables are cooking, make the pesto. Place garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until minced. Add basil, pine nuts and olive oil Process until all items are minced, but still have some texture. Add grated parmesan cheese. Pulse to combine.
3. To serve, add halved cherry tomatoes to the potatoes and green beans and enough pesto to coat the vegetables evenly. Season with salt and pepper.
Servings: 4 386 calories per serving.