lemony red potato green bean salad

Lemony potato and green bean salad

19 May 2014

I’m happy to pull out this reliable recipe again, like a favorite pair of checked shorts, for the warm-weather season. Paired with bright green beans, this fresh dish is both vegetable and starch in one generous bowl, only needing a bit of grilled chicken to complete the meal, or even some hard-boiled eggs for an easy picnic.

Bathed in a lemony, mustardy dressing, this potato salad is equally enjoyable warm, room temperature or cold. With no mayonnaise, it’s a dish that can safely endure hours at a potluck or outing. I showed it to you guys last year with asparagus, but I think I love it with green beans even more.

This is a winner side dish for entertaining. Green vegetable? Check. Starch? Check. Gluten-free, easy to make, easy to transport? Bingo. Soft and crunchy, fresh and comforting, it’s a versatile team player.

Potatoes are a very good source of vitamins and fiber, and they are one of nature’s ultimate comfort foods. I love fluffy russets baked, mashed and roasted in the fall and winter, and when it’s warm, waxy new potatoes are a welcome change.

I’ve learned not to select food for company that needs too much last-minute attention. With dishes like this, I get to play the relaxed host, instead of shooing people out of my kitchen workflow.

It’s easy to make enough of this for an army. Boil potatoes in water salty enough that you can taste it.

red potatoes

Using the same water, blanch the green beans until crisp-tender. (Actually it makes more sense to blanch the green beans before the potatoes make the water cloudy. I fixed that in the real recipe.)

green beans and new potatoes

Mix up a simple lemon-dijon-olive oil dressing and pour it over the warm potatoes and green beans.

lemon-dijon dressing

Add chopped chives, or scallions.

potato salad chives

Once you taste for salt and pepper, it’s hard to stop tasting. Ready to serve, hot, cold, or in between.

lemony red potato green bean salad

I have a little story to share with you from Mother’s Day. This story is true. It says so right here.

a true story

My first-grader was a wee bit off on my height and weight, and my hair is really black. But the line about what I look best wearing is spot on.

how i look

I wish I looked this cute in real life. I love how I’m sporting a giant Arby’s hat like Pharrell.

picture of me

I can’t decide whether this line about my memory is complimentary or menacing. Either way, I wish it were true.

But the rest of this page is the truth, for real.

all about me

Lemony Potato and Green Bean Salad
This fresh, lemony take on potato salad can hold up to summer heat. A happy pairing of new potatoes and green beans that works just as well with asparagus. Adapted from Whole Foods Market.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives


  1. Put a large pot of water on high heat to boil.
  2. Cut green beans into bite-sized lengths (in half or thirds).
  3. Cut potatoes into half if small or quarters if medium.
  4. Add enough salt to the pot of water so that you can taste it. Add green beans and simmer until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl (perfectionists may put the green beans in a bowl of ice water to keep them perfect; I just undercook them slightly, knowing the hot beans will cook a bit more after they are out).
  5. Return water to a boil, add potatoes and simmer until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Test often for doneness when the time gets close: a fork should pierce the potato easily without breaking the potato.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil while whisking constantly and then season with cayenne to taste.
  7. Drain potatoes well and add to bowl with green beans.
  8. Remove garlic clove from dressing and discard. Add dressing and chives to bowl and toss to combine. Taste and add salt, pepper or cayenne to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6.


  • Asparagus also works very well as a substitute for green beans.
  • You can also add a sprinkle of garlic powder/salt to the dressing if you don’t have a fresh clove handy.

Here’s the link to a printable version.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathie B 19 May 2014 at 10:11 am

“She never forgets.” A good thing for all kids to understand about their moms. LOL


cg 22 May 2014 at 12:03 pm

haha kathie b – yes, we have to keep up appearances, even though with the reality of our aging brains! =P


Kathy 19 May 2014 at 10:15 pm

Thanks for sharing your mom’s day card—I love your portrait! (This year, I got a huge neon-colored paper chain and 10 “baby” origami paper cranes from my little daughter, and my older daughter took me out for a splurge burger & shake lunch at Seattle’s famous Dick’s Drive-In. ha!) Your much healthier salad combines all of my favorite things, too, so I can’t wait to give it a try.


cg 22 May 2014 at 12:03 pm

hi kathy – sounds like a great mother’s day from your daughters – very sweet! =)


TaraBN 21 May 2014 at 2:34 pm

This is SO good….my chives are threatening to take over the garden, so perfect timing. I just finished my third ‘tasting’- just to make sure the seasoning doesn’t need to be adjusted. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!


cg 22 May 2014 at 12:07 pm

hi taraBN – lucky you, with chives in your garden…extra chives in your potato salad! good that you tasted the salad enough to get it right – you are a dedicated cook! =P


Carol at Wild Goose Tea 21 May 2014 at 3:33 pm

OMG what an awesome card. Thank you for sharing it. Also thank you for sharing the salad. I am not sure I have seen beans mixed
with potatoes like this. Simple, but different is always nice for all the
barbecues that are coming up.


cg 22 May 2014 at 12:18 pm

hi carol – thanks so much for taking the time to comment! i love hearing from you. so glad you liked the mother’s day amusement, and i hope you like the salad!


jamie 22 May 2014 at 8:39 am

“She never forgets…” “and is always watching” I love this post!


cg 22 May 2014 at 12:20 pm

hee, thanks jamie! =)


Don Fitch 6 June 2014 at 10:06 pm

Thanks, this looks great and I only hope it can be made for less than an army. (I cook for one, and at the age of 86 don’t have a big appetite, especially in the summer). Any recipe for green (&/or yellow wax, which I’m sure would work here) beans is helpful — I have a Community Gardens plot, and at times this produces more beans (& summer squashes, & carrots, &cet) than I really want, though it’s a small plot and I usually manage to avoid planting enough of anything at any one time that the crop is large enough to give away to neighbors with a family.


cg 10 June 2014 at 10:29 am

hi don – good for you with your garden! you can definitely scale down the recipe, and go heavy on the green beans (or yellow wax) if you like. can’t go wrong. =)


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