More and more, I find myself making excuses to head outside and seek the warmth of the sun. More yard work at the house and more outdoor practical fire ground training exercises at the firehouse. Spring here in the south is just one of those times when you’ll regret not hanging out when the weather is just right because before you know it, it’s gone.
Being outside, especially outside dining, demands a different style food from the cozy, controlled confines of inside. When partaking in good eats out on the deck/patio/porch, it is beneficial to have something that is not dependent on being refrigerated for long amounts of time. One of the most revered ingredients down south just doesn’t make the cut, mayonnaise. So what to do with one of the most demanded springtime offerings, potato salad?
Hit the potatoes with the next most important condiment in the food chain, mustard. This acidic, spicy concoction tops many a handheld delight (hot dog, hamburger, sandwich, etc.) but can also be the headliner for your salad. Roasting the potatoes and then serving everything warm accentuates the flavors. Add some needed crunch and color (green beans) and you have the makings of a new, healthier version of a true classic.
A few after the fire critiques: You are more then welcome to boil your potatoes rather then roasting but I feel you’d be sacrificing flavor. Haricot vert or snap peas are recommended if you want something other then the classic green bean. Also, replace the whole grain mustard with a spicier version for a more adult slant (AKA- your fire seekers).
Red Potatoes (roughly 2 lbs.)
Green Beans (¾ lbs. chopped into ½” sticks)
Scallions (Bunch sliced and split between white and green)
Shallots (2-3 sliced)
Parsley (Bunch chopped)
Whole Grain Mustard (2 Tbs.)
Sherry Vinegar (2 Tbs.)
EVOO (½ Cup + 1 Tbs)
Pepper & Salt
Small Saute Pan
Medium/large Metal Bowl
Pre-heat your oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub your potatoes. Place ¼ cup of EVOO and a pinch of salt into a medium bowl and mix to combine. Slice into ½” cubes and place into the bowl and toss to coat. Lay the potatoes into a single layer and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Ensure that after 15 minutes, to toss them one time. Remove when done and cover with a kitchen towel and reserve.
Meanwhile, add a Tbs. of EVOO to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and white scallions. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
In a medium/large metal bowl, add the mustard and sherry vinegar and mix to combine. Slowly add the remaining EVOO to create an emulsion. Stir to keep warm. Remove when the shallots/onions are done.
Place your steamer over high heat to bring water to a slow boil and plenty of steam is rolling. Salt the green beans then add to the steamer and cook 5-7 minutes. Remove and reserve.
Add the reserved potatoes and toss with the green beans, scallions, sautéed onions, parsley, green onions, pepper and salt to taste. Add more sherry vinegar for a more assertive kick. Serve warm.
 Condiment Food Chain Top Five: 1. Mayo 2. Mustard 3. Ketchup 4. Barbecue Sauce. 5. Sriracha.