Potato salad is one of our favorite summertime side dishes, as it is for many people. We like both the traditional mayonnaise based salad and a new one using a vinaigrette with balsamic vinegar. Today I added some fresh green beans.
First I steamed the beans, after trimming and breaking them into bite-sized pieces. I refreshed them in cold water, and blotted them partially dry with a kitchen towel. Then I drizzled them with a teaspoon or so of balsamic vinegar and added a small handful of chopped red onion.
In the meantime, I steamed some small red potatoes and left them unpeeled. As soon as them were tender, I added them to the mixing bowl with the green beans and onions and another teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar, just enough to coat the potatoes. By the way, I cut the larger potatoes in half to make them more manageable to eat and to provide more surface area for the vinegar. Then they sat on the counter for a few minutes to cool a bit while I went outside to pick some fresh parsley. I chopped the parsley and added it to the vegetables along with a tablespoon of vinaigrette that I had already made. A good grind of pepper and a tablespoon of mayonnaise when the potatoes were cool, and the dish was ready to serve. It is best at room temperature, but can be kept in the frig until time to eat.
With the potato salad all ready at 4:00, I had no choice but to put in in the refrigerator until dinner, which I knew would be around 8:00. I had a flank steak marinating in a teriyaki sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes from our tomato plants ripe and ready to harvest. About 20 minutes before we ate, Mac started the grill and I sliced two zucchini, some green onions, and a handful of mushrooms. I sauteed these in a tablespoon of olive oil and a dab of butter. After 10 minutes, I added a chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper, gave it all a couple of stirs and it was ready to go.
Mac cooked the steak, brought it in and we sliced it thinly on the diagonal to keep it tender. It tasted great and was nice and juicy.
In the summer, I like to sit outside in the evening with a glass of wine and discuss the day with my husband or play with the grandchildren if they come over. I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time fixing dinner after we go inside. I therefore try to make some preparations early in the day, or plan a meal that requires little work right before mealtime. Here was a meal that was delicious, but not time consuming. The steak had been marinating since noon; it took 1 minute to prepare (I used Kikkoman teriyaki sauce), and eight minutes to cook. The potato salad took 40 minutes, but a lot of that was just waiting for the potatoes to cook, and I did that early in the day. The zucchini was fixed internal to the steak cooking, and required only slicing the veggies and giving them a stir while they cooked every now and then. That’s what I call a no-stress meal.