Mother’s day is this Sunday and it got me thinking about some of the things my mom used to cook. The menu is long, but one of her signature dishes that stand out in my mind with summer approaching is her String Bean and Potato Salad. It was a classic in our family.
My mother Rose used to make this salad in the summer when the string beans were fresh and the tomatoes from the garden were plentiful. On a hot summer day this dish was a meal in itself. She always used the freshest ingredients to make this salad. Always fresh string beans, never frozen…and God forbid, never canned. It’s a hardy salad with the potatoes mixed in. Full of garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar, just when you thought there was enough flavor in the dish she would add the grated cheese. This is a great side salad, part of an antipasto table or with a loaf of Italian bread a great summertime supper.
I’ll be visiting my mom this mother’s day, but will not be bringing this salad. My 92 year old Mamma requested I make and bring to her a cassata cheese cake and mpanada pie filled with broccoli and olives. God bless her! She loves my cooking, especially now that she has a hard time in the kitchen and can’t make these herself. I learned from the best. And it gives me great pleasure to watch her enjoy the traditional foods we grew up eating.
Love you Mamma! Happy Mother’s Day!
Rose’s String Bean and Potato Salad
- 1 pound fresh string beans
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled
- 2 ripe beefsteak or slicing tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Cook the string beans till tender. Cool under cold running water. Drain and place in large salad bowl. Slice cooked potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and place in bowl. Peel and slice onion into 1/8 inch thick slices, place in bowl. Add sliced tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Add olive oil and toss gently. Then add the vinegar. Mix well and sprinkle on grated cheese. Chill to allow flavors to combine. Take out about 15 minutes before serving and mix well.
Peter, I can tell you what fun it is to read your posts. I was actually born in Messina, Sicily and came to NY when I was three in 1956. We lived in Astoria, Queens and my husband is from Manhattan (lower East Side of course!!!) Anyway we have so many of the same memories and recipes that it’s been a pleasure. When you spoke about the rolled pig skins in sauce my mouth watered!!! And the lamb head!!! I would sit at the opposite side of the table away from the “old folks” when they ate it. What a fun time – I think I’m going to make the zeppole tonight when I get home. (have to stop and get vegetable oil – I only have olive !!!!!) lol
PS. My name is Rose like your moms!!
Rose, it’s so nice to hear from you. We seem to have had the same experience growing up. Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, it’s all the same. I’m glad you are enjoying the recipes. It’s all a part of who we are.