Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad: Two Ways

About a week ago we went up to Georgia and Artie’s parents showered us with our second batch of summer produce, which I wrote about in this post.  The produce included a big bag of little red potatoes and a big bag of green beans.

Red Potatoes

Green Beans

I made a big batch of Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad (the recipe is at the end of the post), which we served two ways this week.

The first meal we had included Pesto Potato Salad, baked beans, and a veggie burger.  The Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad rounded out this very summery, holiday-picnic type meal in a unique and creative way without being too heavy like mayonnaise-based potato salads.  The veggie burger wasn’t half bad either – it was Amy’s brand (probably the best frozen veggie burger I’ve ever had) on a Pepperidge Farm whole wheat sandwich thin with mozzarella cheese, spinach, and Paul Newman’s Farmer’s Garden salsa.

Pesto Potato Salad 1

The second night, I transformed the Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad into what I’m calling Potato Salad Nicoise.  Nicoise Salad is a French salad which includes tuna, green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, onion, capers, and potatoes.  Artie isn’t a huge fan of canned tuna, so I came up with this while he was out of town.  To the original potato salad, I added canned tuna (prepared with a little bit of plain Greek yogurt and salt – I do not like mayonnaise) and a sprinkling of sliced black olives.  It wasn’t a perfect Nicoise potato salad since I was working with what I had in the pantry, but it was pretty good and I’d make it again.  Next time I would probably add some halved cherry tomatoes.

Potato Salad NicoiseAll in all, I’d say it was a week of good meals and a creative way to repurpose leftovers.

Pesto Potato and Green Bean Salad

This recipe makes a lot of potato salad.  If you aren’t serving this to a crowd or planning to eat it for multiple meals, you may want to cut the quantities below in half.

Scrub two pounds of red potatoes and then dry potatoes on a kitchen towel.  Cut potatoes in half or in quarters to make bite-sized pieces.  Place potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with cold water.  Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat.  Boil potatoes until fork tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, wash one pound of green beans and cut into 1-inch pieces.  Just as the potatoes are finishing cooking, add the green beans to the pot and cook for one minute.  Remove the pot from the heat and drain the potatoes and green beans in a large colander.  Run the vegetables under cold water to cool before placing potatoes and green beans in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together eight ounces pesto (store bought or homemade) and 18 ounces Greek yogurt*.  Top the potato and green bean mixture with the pesto and yogurt mixture and stir gently to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Serve cold.

*The amount of yogurt you use will depend upon how creamy you like your potato salad.  The first time I made this, I used a 1 to 1 ratio of pesto to yogurt and the salad was too dry.  The last time I made it, I used the measurements above and it came out much better.  Also, if you aren’t a fan of the tangy flavor of Greek yogurt (which I love) you could substitute sour cream or plain yogurt for up to one-third of the Greek yogurt.

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