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Debbie’s Simple Potato, Green Bean and Lentil Salad

01 October

This is more or less a mash-up of a potato salad and a bean salad. Since I had both (potatoes and beans) I thought hm, I don’t see why I couldn’t make just one salad instead of two. The process is ultimately simple: you cook the potatoes, cook the green beans, combine with other ingredients, toss with a vinaigrette while everything’s still warm, and that’s it! Okay, I’ll give you a little more instruction than that, but basically that’s all it is. đŸ˜‰

Salad ingredients:
Potatoes (preferably the waxy kind, like Tom’s Russian Bananas, for example)
Green beans
A can o’ lentils (or you can use dried and cook them; the can was just easier)
Tomatoes (of course!)
Celery (we’re getting lots of it, so we need ways to use it, right?)
Some herbs (I have chives, marjoram and thyme in my yard, so I used those. You could use dried herbs [mix ’em with the dressing to moisten, in that case])

…and for the vinaigrette:
lemon juice
vinegar (I’m on a sherry vinegar kick at the moment, but red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar would also work fine)
small clove of garlic
Dijon mustard
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

You want to cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, and slightly under-cook them (so they don’t fall apart in the salad), so put them in a pot with ample, well-salted water and bring to a boil, turn down the heat and boil about 8-10 minutes. They should just pierce with the tip of a sharp knife. Drain, and when cool enough to handle (but still warm!), slice or cut into large bite-size-ish chunks and put in a large bowl. I prefer to leave the skin on, but you can peel them if you’re potato-skin averse.

Trim green beans and cut into bite-sized segments, steam for 5 minutes than add to the bowl with the potatoes.

Drain the can of lentils and heat in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until warm; add to the bowl.

Chop up as much celery as you like and add. Good crunchy texture contrast.

Halve a couple tomatoes, seed them (I give the seeds to my chickens – they hoover them up like nobody’s business!), dice and add to the bowl.

Chop and add fresh herbs (if using dry, like I say, add them to the vinaigrette).

Combine vinaigrette ingredients. This kind of salad can handle much more vinaigrette than a regular lettuce-type salad can, so don’t skimp. I use a good dollop of Dijon, juice from half a lemon, maybe 3 tbsp. vinegar and a quarter cup of olive oil. Don’t forget that clove of garlic! I put it through a garlic press which mashes it, releasing more of the flavorful oils. You should have about a half-cup of dressing when all’s said and done. Whisk it all together, adding salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the bowlful of (hopefully) still warm veggies and stir to mix.

You can eat right away while still warm or room temp. You can also refrigerate it and eat it the next day. I like to put it on some lettuce and garnish with a few Kalamata olives.

Bon Appetit! – Debbie

Potato, Green Bean and Lentil Salad

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