Supper is Ready – Marinated Green Beans, Ham & Potato Salad

     This is our favorite supper (or lunchtime) salad; it has been on our summer menu since the 1970s. Every time I make it, I am reminded of my sister, Marlys Newell Gardner, who served it in the second story apartment (in Salina) where she and her husband Richard lived shortly after they were married.
     A light marinade infuses lightly steamed veggies to create an unforgettable combination of flavors. Add some meat (or leave it out) and top with crisp, thinly-sliced radishes. Serve with a slice of really good bread . . . and supper is ready.

Marinated Green Bean, Ham & Potato Salad     Serves 4
Dressing / Marinade
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup oil (vegetable or olive)
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Whisk first 3 ingredients in a bowl to mix; add oil in a thin stream, blending well; add chopped parsley.

5 medium new potatoes, cooked and sliced -- be careful not to overcook potatoes (we’ve used new potatoes, either red or white or Yukon Gold work too)
1 lb. green beans, stemmed, lightly salted and steamed until just tender-crisp (taste to determine doneness) – be sure to leave lid of cooking pot for the first few minutes of cooking time to preserve the bright green color*
½ of a thinly sliced red onion
2 cups slivered or chopped ham, chicken, turkey or crumbled bacon (or use a
combination of meats)
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes, optional
Lettuce for serving, optional

1.  In bowl, layer warm potato slices, green beans, onion slices and dressing; cover and let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.

2.  Just before serving, add meat and radishes. Toss to mix and serve on lettuce.

Selecting Green Beans 
High quality green beans are crisp and tender without scars. Well-shaped pods with small seeds are desirable. Length is unimportant. Green beans should feel pliable and velvety, not hard or tough.

*Cooking Green Beans
For best color, flavor, and nutrient retention: 
·    Bring a small amount (a couple of inches) of salted water to boil in the bottom of a pan for one pound of green beans.
·    Add green beans and cook uncovered for the first few minutes to let some of the volatile acids escape in the steam. This will preserve the bright green color.
·    Cover and cook until just tender crisp. One pound of crosscut green beans will be ready to serve in 10 to 15 minutes.

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