Mom's Green Bean and New Potato Salad is not your usual side dish, it is one that is packed with summer memories, highlighting the seasonal organic produce coming right out of our backyard, and the amazing local organic growers!
Song of the day: "Mother" by Pink Floyd.
Mom's Green Bean and New Potato Salad is a delicious side dish that would be served at the summer's end in our Italian family. Fresh organic flavors meet the simple preparation of food in our culture. Beautiful fluffy moist starchy garden potatoes, and some lovely perfectly cooked French-style green beans tossed in e.v.o. oil, fresh chopped Italian parsley, and minced garlic, so so scrumptious!
Mom's recipes are many, like chocolate zucchini cake, verdura (sauteed greens), potato salad, lemon cookies, just to name a few, but one that I want to share with you today is Mom's Green Bean and New Potato Salad. I remember so vividly our summers, endless hours outdoors on excursions to the woods and creek, going swimming, visiting friends, but one thing that really sticks in my mind was our garden.
Mom's garden was amazing, well, it was not only my mom's, it was also my dad's. They both had a real green thumb and could grow anything, even Concord grapes in our very short summer season and usually cooler Fall. I remember the fragrances coming off the garden, fresh basil, parsley, tomatoes, onions. It was like a jungle of organic food and as kids we loved raiding it, eating fresh carrots, peas, etc. One recipe that I always looked forward to, was Mom's bean and potato salad. It featured fresh new potatoes and the most exquisite green beans which my dad had a knack for growing. Those spindles of vines full of the hanging green beans that I loved to pick, especially the little tender ones. I enjoyed working in the garden picking things and always fascinated to see the things that really came from a seed and my parents' passion. Then amazingly to full out vegetables and in abundance.
This salad, my Mom's and Dad's favorite, was finished with a drizzle of good olive oil which brought flavors to life, of course with the aid of garlic and fresh parsley. That's what I love about Italian cooking, few incredible ingredients and a simple preparation that delivers an amazing flavor experience.
Speed time up a bit, and today I am celebrating our own garden which I planted this year in my parents' backyard. I did it solo, as my father passed away a few months ago and my mom is ill in hospital. A bittersweet experience with many emotions and memories. I did not plant beans this time thinking it would be too much and thinking I would have had beans till the end of time, considering how things are growing this year. It is really self-gratifying growing your own foods and when the harvest comes in and you eat it, it is very fulfilling knowing where it came from.
Look at our harvest, well only the potatoes are from our garden, the parsley comes from a friend's garden, the French green beans from our friend Graham Sparrow's Nest Organics, and the fresh garlic from the Hutterites, both located in The Old Strathcona Farmers Market.
From Garden to Table Mom's Green Bean and New Potato Salad!
This is so simple to make and is perfect for those summer meals outside. The freshness of the air just makes food taste so good, and after working so hard in the garden, I am very hungry, so better get cooking!
The prep for this dish goes something like this:
- Boil potatoes which have been washed and peels left on.
- Trim beans and cook with potatoes for a bit in boiling water.
- Toss potatoes and beans in a pan with olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and when it is nicely cooked, a finish of fresh chopped parsley and minced garlic. Well, maybe some more olive oil.
That's it. So simple right?
Look at those potatoes, a nice color medley but more so that starchiness coming forth. The green beans so vibrant in color and those nice hits of fresh parsley. I love the aroma, the garlic and oil along with that parsley is heavenly and has my hunger growing to new heights. I have to go in for a taste. Ooooooooh those potatoes, buttery, smooth and so velvety on the tongue. I especially like the skin and its tenderness, it has so much flavor. The beans sweet/savory combination with that nice crunch leading to that delicious interior. The parsley adds nature's pepperiness to the mix and that garlic has that way of schmoozing into everything, this time very welcomed. I love the way that starchy butter from the potatoes coats things and adds that luxurious comfort to the dish.
I am flooded with so many memories of my parents talking among the foliage of the lush garden and how time has a way of slipping by. I am so grateful of my childhood and learning the tricks of the trade in producing a beautiful garden and Mom's and Dad's recipes that live in me forever and that I want to share with all of you. Get in your garden and pick those wonderful vegetables. If you don't have a garden celebrate our amazing organic producers and visit your local farmers market and try this simple yet so flavor-packed Mom's Green Bean and New Potato Salad.
Yesterday was the start of the Harvest celebrations in Italy, called Ferragosto, a wondrous time of the year there.
Song of the Day: "Mother" by Pink Floyd.
We paired this beautiful side dish with a dry rubbed charbroiled steelhead trout. Delicious dinner!