It’s that time of year in Ireland, when new potatoes and strawberries are on sale on the side of roads up and down the country and we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that this mini heatwave will continue. Perfect timing for today’s blog post; a recipe for a delicious New Potato, Green Bean & Egg Salad with Basil Pesto. This is a hassle free one to prepare, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time to enjoy it sitting out the back in the sunshine.
For this blog post, I'm excited to be working with Bord Bia, Ireland's Food Board on its campaign to encourage people to eat more delicious locally grown Irish potatoes. They asked me to come up with an Honest Project recipe to show how versatile potatoes are and how they can be so much more than a side dish. If you love potatoes (hands up), you will love their website Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side. It's 100% dedicated to the humble spud and contains an infinite amount of delicious potato recipes.
So back to today's post. The campaign is designed to encourage us all to eat more locally grown pototoes and to make them the star of our dinner plate and so I wanted my recipe to do just that. In all honesty, this was a pretty easy task for me. I eat potatoes all year round and coincidently I’m eating them on repeat at the moment as they are naturally gluten free. The back story on that is that I'm on a gluten free diet for three months - I'm almost half way in and thankfully potatoes are helping to fill the pasta shaped gap in my diet just nicely.
I didn’t have to think all that hard about what to prepare for this post. The weather is so amazing here at the moment, it had to be a salad that is quick to prepare and tastes delicious. Like most of my salads here on the Honest Project, this one is big on flavour and nutrients and can be served as a meal in itself. Nothing else required. My pet peeve is measly salads so you'll find none of that kind here. That’s the thing with vegetables. So often we think of them as just a bit on the side, but thankfully we are starting to get adventurous and more knowledagable about our food and it’s so easy to prepare a salad, using locally grown vegetables that’s nutrionally balanced and filling. Take potatoes: they are versstile and a great vegetable to build a meal around. By adding a small number of other flavours and textures you can very easily prepare a delicious meal that doesn't cost the earth.
For this recipe, I've matched potatoes with green beans and olives (hello summer)! The protein fix comes from delicious organic hard boiled eggs, which are popped on top just before serving. Potatoes and eggs are one of my favourite combos. This is my equivalent of a much healthier version of eggs and chips (kinda). To bring this all together, I’ve used my beloved basil pesto. I’m finding all sorts of gluten free ways to get my pesto fix these days and this is one of my favourites. If pesto with potatoes sounds a bit far out to you, just try it and prepare to become a fan.
I made this salad over the bank holiday weekend, using the most delicious new potatoes that I picked up at the Farmers’ Market in Kilkenny last Thursday. They are bursting with flavour and work really well in salads of all kinds. That’s the great thing about potatoes, they are literally our national vegetable, and we're guaranteed to get locally grown potatoes all year round. This salad is completely hassle free and comes together in a flash. The pesto can be prepared in advance and will keep in the fridge for 5 days. It can even be batch prepared and frozen in individual containers.
And just a word on potatoes and how nutritious they are. They are 100% natural, are fat free (and that includes free of saturdated fats), they are low in sugar, are salt free and are a source of fibre and potassium.
Remember to check out Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side for lots more delicious potato recipes and keep scrolling for my go-to potato recipe for this summer.
New Potato, Green Bean & Egg Salad with Basil Pesto
Prep time: 20 minutes
500g new potatoes
200g green beans
100g green olives, pitted and halved
4 free range eggs
For the dressing
30g basil leaves
25g pine nuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves, minced
25g parmesan cheese (or a vegetarian alternative), grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
25g pine nuts, toasted
Grating of fresh parmesan
Wash the potatoes and place them in a large pan, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until tender. While the potatoes are cooking prepare the beans by topping and tailing them and cutting them into pieces about 2 inches long. Add them to the pan about 4 minutes before the potatoes are cooked. Once the potatoes and beans are cooked and tender, drain and leave to one side.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the eggs. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the eggs and boil for approximately 7 minutes. This will give you just set eggs. Remove them from the water and crack the shells and run them under cold water for a minute. Leave to cool and then remove the shell from the eggs.
To makes the basil pesto dressing, first lightly toast the pine nuts in the oven for 5 minutes max. Add 25g of the pine nuts to a food processor along with the grated cheese, lemon juice, minced garlic and basil leaves. Blitz to combine. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil. Stop the blender and transfer the pesto to a small bowl and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Once the potatoes have cooled a little, add them and the beans to a bowl along with the pitted olives. Pour the pesto over the potatoes, beans and olives and roughly crush the potatoes, just a little, while coating them in the pesto. Tip the potato salad into your seveing dish. Quarter the eggs and place them on top and around the salad. To finish, toss the remaining toasted pine nuts on top and add a grating of fresh parmesan.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
THIS POST IS A SPONSORED CAMPAIGN IN COLLABORATION WITH ADHB AND BORD BIA.