That being said, when I do use market fresh ingredients I do my best to keep things simple and avoid interfering too much . For example, in this salad the three main ingredients are potatoes, string beans and basil, all straight from the market, perfect on their own, but even better together. Now unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the final product because this was made at night and gone by the morning. So you're going to have to use your imagination to visualize the final result. It's easy, take the picture of the string beans and potatoes and tint it green. Not any green though, tint it the green of the pesto in the picture below. There you go. Looks good, right?
To keep things simple, this salad just tastes like a sum of its parts. Sweet, waxy potatoes. Crunchy, green string beans. Woodsy, biting basil. That's it and that's all you want from it. Like I said, the farmer's market is one of the best places on earth. I think it serves as an important reminder that simplicity is a virtue, my role in the equation may be minimized, but I would rather that than resign myself to a life of tasteless, lifeless vegetables. If you don't cook you're even luckier, because there's no way you can go wrong. When a delicious meal is this easy and tasty, what more could you ask for?
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
4 pounds small Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segments
2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)
1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.
2) Meanwhile, discard the stems from the basil and wash and dry the leaves. Puree them in a food processor with garlic, parmiggiano, and pine nuts drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
3) Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.