SALADE LIEGEOISE (Belgian green bean and potato salad, for four)


6 to 8 new potatoes (3/4 pound) scrubbed

salt to taste

1 pound green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil

5 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1 by ¼ inch strips

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped

¼ cup finely minced fresh parsley

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cook the unpeeled potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 25 minutes. (If your new potatoes are small, they will cook in as little as 15 minutes.)

2. Cook beans in plenty of boiling salted water until they are tender but still crunchy, 10 to 15 minutes. Do not cover pot or they will discolor.

3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still quite warm, peel them and cut each potato into 4 pieces. (Small potatoes may only be cut in half, and peeling them is discretionary.) Combine the potatoes and warm green beans in a salad bowl.

4. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until crisp but not too brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Pour the bacon and rendered fat over the green beans and potatoes.

6. Deglaze the warm skillet with the vinegar and reduce over high heat by two thirds, about 1 minute. Pour over the vegetables and combine well.

7. Season with salt to taste. Sprinkle with the shallots, parsley and a grinding or two of black pepper.

adapted from Ruth Van Waerebeek, Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook

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