Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Potato and Green Bean Salad with Creme Fraiche Dijon Dressing

It's been an incredibly busy week for me.  From the visiting with friends, fireworks and street fairs to finally finishing the wood floor in the foyer.  Oh yeah, and then there's this little Etsy shop my sister and I opened yesterday....

It was days and days of searching for the right tools and materials.  Long hours of dragging my kids through flea markets and vintage shops hunting for things that I never did find and getting excited when I found something unexpected and cooler than my original idea.  And then the final rush to get all the items sanded, glued, painted and finishing details perfected before the grand opening yesterday.
You know that nervous energy you get when you're about to try something new and have no idea how it's going to turn out, but you're still hopeful?  Like that feeling when you walk into your first day at a new job that you really hope you'll love. 

That's what I feel like with this Etsy shop.  It came about on a whim, but I enjoyed every second of using my creativity to make the items in our shop and even surprised myself with how well things turned out.  I just hope it's successful for both my sister and me.  We deserve a break.  We deserve to be successful at something we enjoy doing.  Fingers crossed...
In the meantime, my poor little blog got neglected, I'm sorry to say.  So today I remedy that with a simple side dish perfect for a busy summer evening.  It's one of our favorites, made even better with the addition of home made creme fraiche, and perfect to stand along side some hearty BBQ fare.  It's on the menu tonight at my house for sure.

Potato and Green Bean Salad with Creme Fraiche Dijon Dressing
Serves 4-6 people.  Created by tweaking and combining 2 recipes- one from Bon Apetit and one from Salad for Dinner, by Tasha DeSerio.
For a printable version, click here.

3 lbs new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
8 ounces green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half
2 tbs white wine or champagne vinegar
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 tbs creme fraiche (see how to make home made creme fraiche below)
1 tbs course-grained dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs chopped fresh herbs ( I use a combination of flat leaf parsley and chives)

Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender enough to pierce with the tip of a knife, 12-15 minutes.  Add the green beans to the pot for the last 4 minutes of cooking.  Drain the vegetables well.  Keep warm.

While the vegetables are cooking, make the dressing.  In a large bowl whisk together the shallots, vinegar, creme fraiche, dijon mustard and salt.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make a creamy dressing.  Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss the dressing with the warm potatoes and green beans.  Gently stir in the herbs and transfer to a serving bowl.  The salad can be served warm or at room temperature.

Home Made Creme Fraiche
This tangy version of sour cream is a snap to make.  Unlike sour cream, it can be whipped so you can use it very much like you would heavy cream (I like it whipped with a pinch or sugar and vanilla for a  fruit dip or used instead of cream in an ice cream base) or it can be used as a substitute for sour cream.  To print a recipe, click here.

1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs plain yogurt or buttermilk

In a jar or lidded container stir together the cream and yogurt or buttermilk.  Loosely cover the top with parchment paper or a paper towel and let the cream sit on the counter for 8-12 hours or overnight.  When the cream reaches the consistency you want (should be thickened but not stiff), cover the container with the lid and place in the refrigerator.  The creme fraiche will keep for 2 weeks.

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