This potato, green bean, and steak salad is so amazing that out of my fancy new (ish) cookbook, I’ve made it twice for dinner and once without steak as a side dish for a potluck. Served room temperature, the potatoes and blue cheese are at their peak of flavor and texture, while the blanched green beans provide just the tender crispness it needs. And who can resist thin slices of perfectly rare steak, simply seasoned with salt and pepper?
The dressing is incredible – made from shallots, red wine vinegar, and more dijon mustard than I typically use, it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like any one of those ingredients. The flavors meld with the salt, pepper, and thyme to create a unified dressing so perfect you’ll want to eat it with a spoon and lick the bowl afterwards. The ingredients are so simple it’s hard to believe such a complex dressing can come out of it.
Yup, it’s my favorite salad I’ve made out of my new favorite cookbook – which must make it pretty darned awesome. What is this amazing cookbook, you ask?
Well, a few months ago I walked into William Sonoma with a very specific task in mind – to buy a donut-shaped cookie cutter so I could make homemade Samoa cookies. I found the cookie cutter, walked up to the register, and waited for someone to come ring me up.
As I was waiting there by the counter, I noticed a cookbook on display on a nearby table with a gorgeous full-page photo of the most delicious looking salad, so I went over to take a look and inspect the recipe. I flipped through the pages and saw ANOTHER amazing looking salad, and took some more mental notes. On about the third salad I could not live without, I realized that every recipe in the book looked incredible and I wanted them all on my plate right now. (Not all at once, mixed together. That would be gross. Maybe separate plates.)
Well, I finally looked at the cover. Salad of the Day – a salad for every day of the year. Not only is that a lot of salads, but they’re also arranged so that each day’s salad uses seasonal ingredients and is season-appropriate. It has a calendar at the beginning of each month’s section with each day’s recipe listed, and there’s a date next to each recipe so you know when you’re supposed to make it. What a GREAT idea! Okay, so this recipe is the one for March 5, but you’ll want it in September too, and every other month of the year. Trust me.
So yeah, in short, I walked in for a $3 cookie cutter and walked out with that, and a $35 cookbook. But holy moly, I’ve made several recipes from the book and they’re great! I don’t think I’ve ever used that specific day’s recipe, but it’s great to flip to whatever month you’re in and browse for a seasonal recipe.
While all the photos are vibrant and mouth-watering, this salad, my favorite recipe so far, doesn’t have a photo in the book at all, so here are my own photos for your viewing pleasure.
Since I’ve made this particular salad three times so far, so I have a little insight into what works and what doesn’t with this guy.
- Making ahead: Cook the potatoes and green beans ahead of time if you want, or if you’re going to be short on time the day you want to eat it. It’s supposed to be sort of a luke-warm salad, though, so I nuked the potatoes for a couple minutes just so they weren’t chilled when I actually assembled the salad.
- Making more: The recipe in the book calls for 2 lbs red potatoes and 2/3 lb green beans. But my potatoes came in a 3 lb bag and the beans in two 1/2 lb bags, so I just went ahead and multiplied the recipe by 1.5 so I used up all my ingredients. Also because it’s super delicious and that gave me more leftovers. I’m writing the recipe as I made it, with more stuff.
- The steak: I couldn’t find anything at the grocery store labeled “flank steak”, but I think a London Broil is pretty much the same thing. Even if it’s not, the London Broil worked perfectly for this meal.
- Side dish adaptation: While this is an excellent main dish, you can make just the potato-green-bean part with dressing as a side dish or for a different, non-mayo-based take on potato salad for a potluck or cookout. It’s a winner! Especially if you’re at a French-themed potluck like my friend’s birthday party.
What doesn’t work:
- Mixing in the blue cheese: If you’re making just the potato-green-bean part for a potluck, resist the temptation to throw in the blue cheese! It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely lost the character of the salad when the blue cheese got all creamy and coated the potatoes instead of just being nice little crumbles on top. If you really want to include the blue cheese (and I wouldn’t blame you), maybe have it on the side so people can add their own.
- Overcooked green beans: It might take a minute or two for you to fish all the green beans out of the water after blanching, since you’re reusing the water for the potatoes, so err on the less-cooked side of things when you start removing them so the last beans out are still tender-crisp.
I hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and perhaps check out what is now my new favorite cookbook!
Sliced Flank Steak, Haricot Vert & Potato Salad
- 1.5 lbs flank steak or London Broil
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 lb haricots verts or green beans if using green beans, cut diagonally into shorter 2" lengths, ends trimmed
- 3 lbs red potatoes unpeeled
- 9 tbsp crumbled blue cheese 3 oz
- 4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
For the dressing
- 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp minced shallots
- 3 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat a broiler pan about 4" from the heat source. Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- When pan is hot, add the steak and broil about 4 minutes per side to cook to medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes before slicing, or until you are done preparing the rest of the salad.
- Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water. Add the green beans and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Cook green beans for 3-7 minutes, or until tender-crisp. (haricots verts will need 3-4 minutes while larger green beans may need 5 or more minutes) Remove from the boiling water with tongs and plunge into the ice water. This will stop the cooking and keep them crisp. Once chilled, drain and pat them dry with paper towels.
- Add whole, unpeeled potatoes to the boiling water and cook for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes pierce easily with a knife. Drain and let cool on a cutting board.
- In a medium bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly.
- When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into 1" chunks. Toss with green beans, thyme, and two-thirds of the dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Arrange some of the potato-green bean mixture on a plate and top with thin slices of the steak and 1-2 tbsp of blue cheese. Spoon some of the remaining dressing over the steak and garnish with extra thyme.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to the Salad of the Day cookbook. If you click my link and buy the book, I will earn a small commission.