June 5, 2010

Picnic Essential-This Week’s Pinch Hitter, Green Beans

You were supposed to read about chicken today. Not just any chicken. Believe me, this chicken was going to change your life. I was going to share with you chicken that is baked in the oven but comes out golden and crispy and could pass as the fried stuff, but oh so much better with breadcrumbs, butter and rosemary…

I was going to write about how it’s the perfect picnic food, because it tastes even better cold. And then I was going to tell you all about the lovely picnic that Tom and I enjoyed on the rocks of Halibut Point, eating our cold chicken, green bean & potato salad and these Mexican chocolate cookies. 

Then I discovered that none of my chicken pictures came out focused. Oh, I have lots of shots of the uncooked chicken, but really, how convincing would that have been?  This means that for today’s post, the green beans will be pinch hitting for the chicken, primarily because their pictures came out prettier and not unfocused.

I hope you’re not too disappointed. Really, they are just as flavorful and you can’t have oven fried chicken without these green beans. So at some point I was going to have to give you this recipe anyways.  I was just really, really excited about the chicken.

I suppose I can still tell you about the picnic. There were blankets, chairs, good books, wine, cheese and then of course cold chicken and green bean salad. When we picnic with my parents, my mom always brings some freshly cut flowers for the cooler-turned table (which is appropriately covered with colorful linen). 

Me, well I can never remember to bring the flowers. But, we did have the perfect rock, which gave us the perfect view of my beloved New England coast. It was a day worth sharing, with or without the chicken.

Green Bean and Potato Salad

1 lb. fresh green beans, stemmed and trimmed
¾ to 1 lb. small red potatoes, halved

½ red onion, sliced
2 plump garlic gloves, minced
4-5 TBLS red wine vinegar 

1 Tsp Dijon mustard

1 cup good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender about 10 minutes. Beware of overcooking; you do not want mushy potato salad. Drain and put into large bowl.

Boil green beans in salted water for 3-4 minutes until crisp and tender. Drain and set aside.

Now make the vinaigrette.  Combine the garlic, red wine vinegar and mustard into a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.  Salt and pepper to taste. At this point I usually end up adding more vinegar…I love vinegar.

Add the green beans and sliced red onion to the potatoes. Toss with vinaigrette and check for seasoning.


  1. Such vibrant colors. I love summer because of the fresh green beans, and I look forward to giving this recipe a try!

  2. I'm sure the chicken was marvelous!! but I have to say your images of the green bean salad are beautiful, I am so sorry your others didnt come out....
    but thanks so much for sharing these and I do hope you had a wonderful time with your incredible picnic lunch!

  3. I know it sometimes happen. I myself experienced the same thing several times. I either forgot to take the photo or couldn't take a good photo of the dish. Anyway, then the words speak on behalf of pictures. I'm sure the chicken was scrumptious. And your picnic sounds lovely with that coast view.Never tried green beans, my favorite summer vegetable, in this way, must give it a try.

  4. Monet, Fresh green beans are the best aren't they? I admit though, my favorite way to eat fresh green beans is raw.

    Chef Dennis, That was the kicker. The chicken tasted amazing. Probably the best I've ever made it.

    Zerrin, My biggest problem is making sure I have the right light for the photos, which means I need to plan in advance of cooking the meal. I do hope you enjoy the recipe.

    Magic and Food Apprecianndo, Thank you!

    To all, if you find that my measurements are a bit off with the vinaigrette, please share. I'm afraid that sometimes my eyeball to real measurement conversions can be a bit off.