Hello, summer! Green Bean and Potato Salad with Mustard Cream

Nothing says Memorial Day like potato salad, am I right? With the holiday today, summer, AKA picnic and grilling season, has officially begun. Although I am writing this post from an Amtrak train between NYC and Boston today, I am already daydreaming of all the outdoor eating I’ll be doing this summer, and one of my guilty-pleasure dishes – potato salad. But I must admit I didn’t always love potato salad. Mayo grossed me out, and the hard-boiled eggs made it smell funny to my oh-so-discerning teenage senses. So I needed a salad like this – a gateway potato salad, if you will –  to help me fall in love with this American staple of summer.

This version of a potato salad is a far cry from your auntie’s family-favorite recipe, chock full of mayo and hard-boiled eggs. With fresh green beans, mustard, and Greek yogurt, this is a potato salad fancy enough to serve at a summer dinner, yet easy enough to throw together for your next BBQ. And, it’s so healthy you won’t feel bad about going back for a second serving. As you surely will.

Green Bean and Potato Salad with Mustard Cream

 AKA a “gateway” potato salad, for the mayo-averse and health-conscious
Time: 30 minutes         Serves: 4 largely, or 6-8 petitely


  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 lb potatoes, cut in medium-sized chunks, skin-on*
  • 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed (and cut in half if very long)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 T low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 T milk
  • 2 T whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* Use a firm potato (preferably yukon gold, red, or fingerling), not a starchy one (like Idaho or Russet), for best results. Learn more about different types of potatoes.


Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot; cover with water and add 1 tsp salt. (Adding salt is really important here – it makes bland potatoes much more flavorful!) Place on stove over medium heat, cover, and bring to a boil.

While the potatoes start to cook, mix together the ingredients for the sauce: whisk the yogurt with the milk, then add in the mustard, dried thyme, remaining salt, and pepper, mixing until creamy.
Prepare an ice bath for the veggies –  large bowl half-filled with ice cubes and cold water.

Check the potatoes – after about 5 minute sof boiling, they should feel almost done; al delte if you will. Add in the green beans to the boiling water, and cook both potatoes and veggies together until the potates are just tender and the beans are bright green, about another 5 minutes. Scoop out the veggies and plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking.
Drain the veggies, and combine the bean-potato mixture with the scallions and mustard cream. Add a little more pepper and salt to taste, and you are picnic-ready!

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I recommend letting the dish sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to meld, and to allow to come to room temperature before serving. The dish keeps wonderfully, as is just as tasty – if not more – the next day.

This time last year…

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