Ah summer time. Isn’t it just a perfect time for picnics and cookouts and checkered tablecloths and potato salad? I have a different take on a potato salad to share with you all today, but first – what’s a food story without a little backstory? It all started when I picked up some green beans at the farmer’s market and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with them. I love green beans, but I have yet to figure out really what to make them into other than a side dish. For some reason they reminded me of potato salad. You can put green beans in a potato salad, right?
For summer picnics I always loved potato salad. I’ve never actually made it myself, but my mom always whipped it up for family gatherings. I love the combination of fresh dill, creamy mayo and starchy potatoes. Of course the traditional mayo is out if I wanted to whip up my own version of it. But luckily, there’s a lot of vegan mayo options on the market.
Since I was already getting a little weird by throwing in some green beans, I decided to go with a combo of sweet potato and red potato to get even more color incorporated. The combination was surprisingly good – the sweet potato added a great twist that I wasn’t sure I was going to like at first but I ended up loving it. The added sweetness was a pleasant addition. (side note: did you know that purple beans are really just green after you cook them? Yes, it’s true. A discovery I was sad to have made during this cooking expedition.)
For the dressing I mixed vegan mayo, brown mustard, and some fresh dill. It was perfect – a little tangy – and reminded me of the salads my mom used to make all the time. The fresh dill really is the key – it’s such a refreshing? crisp? delicious? addition that I can’t figure out the right adjective for. It’s just too darn good.
After topping the boiled potatoes and beans I had a bit of the dressing left over – which ended up being perfect when mashed with a can of chickpeas for a faux tuna salad. I made one a while back, and am happy to report that this turned out just as good! In one quick kitchen session I had a side dish and a main dish that I wasn’t expecting.
(PS. How cool is that lunch container?! I heart the Container Store) The potato salad was terrific, and while I whipped it up to take to work with me, I can’t wait to throw it together at my next summer gathering!
Picnic Perfect Potato & Green Bean Salad
What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 cups cut and trimmed green beans
- 2 cups sweet potato (about one medium)
- 1 1/2 cups red potato (about 4 medium)
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
- juice from 1/4 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
What You’ll Do:
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces. Peel (or not) the red potatoes and leave whole. Drop all into a pot of boiling water and boil about 10-15 minutes until soft.
- Remove potatoes and add beans to still-boiling water. Cook until bright green but still somewhat crisp, about 5 minutes or so.
- Set the veggies aside and mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Cut the red potatoes up into bite-size pieces and toss with the beans and sweet potatoes.
- Top the veggies with the dressing (I had about 1/4 cup of dressing left)
- Optional: mash 1 can of chickpeas with remaining dressing for faux tuna salad.
- Serve chilled or slightly warm if serving immediately. Enjoy!