I can remember distinctly the first time I had a green salad with cooked potatoes in it. I was sitting in a cafe in northern France on a summer day, I was a bit jet-legged, and I was craving something fresh after a long day of traveling. I was, to be honest, skeptical: cooked potatoes are for eating hot, or at the most in potato salad, right? Well, I’m happy to have been wrong! Whether served warm or cold, the cooked potatoes on this salad add an interesting contrast and help to make this salad more filling, so it tends to please even those who don’t consider salad a meal. And – bonus – this comes together in a snap if you’ve thought ahead a wee bit and made extra potatoes, green beans, and hard-boiled eggs for previous meals.
This salad is typically a composed salad – in which the ingredients are carefully and artistically arranged on a platter and drizzled with vinaigrette – but I prefer to serve the ingredients separately in bowls so that each diner may pick and choose their toppings. This works especially well with my family, since none of them are salad eaters, but they do enjoy many of the ingredients as long as I serve them unadorned. Do as suits your family’s tastes.
I prefer to serve this with my favorite vinaigrette, which is a snap to make right before serving. Combine 1 spoonful Dijon mustard and 2 spoonfuls red wine vinegar in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir. Add 4 spoonfuls olive oil gradually, whisking constantly to emulsify. Combine with individual portions at the table or drizzle over the composed salad. A store-bought vinaigrette also works!
Serve this salad with a crusty baguette to complete the meal. I can’t imagine a better dinner! Unless there’s also chocolate mousse…
What you need:
- greens (Romaine is traditional, but Boston, red or green leaf, Bibb, and even spinach will do!)
- steamed or roasted small red potatoes, preferably labelled “new,” “baby,” or B-size
- steamed green beans
- hard-boiled eggs
- small red onion, sliced in strips
- black olives, preferably pitted Kalamata olives
- tomatoes, preferably grape or cherry
- optional additions:
- tuna, fresh cooked or canned, shredded
- radishes, thinly sliced
- cucumber, cut in spears
- artichoke hearts, quartered
- crumbled blue or feta cheese
- roasted red pepper strips
- chicken breast, cooked and cubed
- cutting board and knife
- large platter (optional)
Time: 10-15 minutes.
Multiplying the recipe: Yes, easily done!
If making a composed salad: On a large platter, arrange the greens. Artfully arrange the vegetables and other additions over the top of the greens. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve.
If serving separately: Arrange greens, vegetables, and other additions in bowls and serve at the table, alongside a cruet of vinaigrette. Allow diners to assemble their own salads.