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Roasted fingerlings and crunchy green beans get tossed with a zingy dressing in this scrumptious summer side.
The one recipe question I get asked all the time is “what should I make for a side dish?”. Especially in the summer. It seems the burgers, dogs and steaks are the easy part, but what to serve alongside presents the challenge. The easy answer is a big green salad, grilled veggies or potato salad. These immediately come to mind for quick summer sides. But it can also become boring if you get stuck in a rut.
I have a special place in my heart for a classic potato salad…boiled potatoes, celery, hard-cooked eggs and a mayonnaise-y dressing. But it’s not something I want to eat everyday. To make a lighter, updated version I add in crunchy veggies, omit the mayo and toss in a handful of herbs. I also love to try out different potatoes and cooking methods. My current favorite is fingerling potatoes, roasted in the oven with shallots and garlic until they are lightly browned with crispy edges. Roasting the potatoes and shallots not only adds depth of flavor, but prevents the potatoes from becoming soft and mushy.
Another great thing about this recipe is how easy it is to put your own spin on it. Don’t have green beans and dill? How about trying a southwest version with diced peppers, fresh corn and cilantro? Mix a couple of spoonfuls of salsa into the dressing and serve it with a juicy steak for a hearty meal for a crowd. Love Mediterranean flavors? Add crumbled feta, kalamata olives, diced tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon to the dressing for the perfect pairing with grilled lamb chops. Or maybe you have a ton of herbs to use up in the frig. Try sprinkling some over the potatoes as they roast and add another handful into the dressing for an extra punch of flavor.
If you’re usually a stickler for recipes, I think this is a great time to push the boundaries a bit. You can start small by simply adding another herb or a little more onion. Hey it’s summer. It’s time to relax, not worry about following the recipe to the letter and experimenting a little bit in the kitchen. Not that you’re not going to love this recipe as is. Because trust me, you will. Either way, I know you’ll enjoy this updated, delicious twist on the classic summer side.
- 2 lbs fingerling potatoes halved
- 8 oz shallots about 3 medium, thinly sliced
- 3 whole garlic cloves ends trimmed, peels left intact
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 12 oz green beans ends trimmed
- 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 Tbsp chives chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the potatoes, shallots and garlic with olive oil and spread evenly on a sheet tray lined with nonstick foil. Season well with kosher salt and pepper.
Roast, turning occasionally, until browned and potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, about 30-40 mins.
While the potatoes are roasting, fill a large saucepan with water and 2 tsps salt and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and blanch until just tender. Drain and then immerse the beans in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When they're cool, remove the beans and lay them out to dry on paper towels.
When the roasted garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of the peel. In a small food processor or with a whisk, mix together the roasted garlic, mustard, chive, dill, creme fraiche, salt and pepper.
Toss the potatoes, shallots and green beans with the dressing and serve warm or at room temperature.