New Potatoes, french beans and pesto


This is the kind of thing you might be served in the south of France in the summer and everything points to a south of France style weekend (woohoo!!!). It’s a cinch to throw together and all the ingredients are to hand and most of all it’s really tasty. Enjoy.

New Potatoes and french beans with pesto (for 2 as a main)

You’ll need:

1k New potatoes

150gr French beans

For the pesto:

A large handful basil with the tougher stalks removed

3-4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped

3 tablespoons pinenuts

A generous pinch Maldon salt

3-4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan (vegans can skip this as I did recently and it tasted just as good)

A generous slug of your best olive oil

First of all wash your potatoes and drop them into boiling water. If there’s a variety of sizes start with the bigger ones then add the smaller ones after a few minutes so they’re ready at the same time. Top and tail the beans then steam for about 3-4 minutes. Be sure and keep them al dente. When they’re done rinse in cold water and set aside.

To make the pesto put blend the basil, oil, garlic and pinenuts with a handblender. Don’t make it too smooth, a bit of texture is nice. Finally stir in the cheese and salt. Taste and add more oil or salt as needed.

When the potatoes are ready, let them cool down a bit then roughly chop the larger ones and mix with the beans. Top with a dollop of pesto and lots of black pepper.

Have a brilliant weekend,



This week we have oyster mushrooms, french beans and ginger so I decided to try an Asian style salad.  I lightly steamed the beans then tossed them with  the mushrooms (panfried til golden) and made a  dressing of soy sauce, grated ginger, finely chopped garlic and a little rice wine vinegar and honey. It was supposed to be for lunch today but it was so delicious that I actually ended up eating it at midnight last night.  I ate (ok, wolfed) it on its own but it’s fab with steamed rice and/or some stir-fried tofu……..

Warm Asian salad with Oyster mushrooms, French Beans and Ginger

You’ll need:

200-250gr french beans

200gr oyster mushroomsOyster Mushrooms

1 small onion finely chopped

The dressing:

2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 piece of ginger about the size of your thumb peeled then finely grated with the stringy bits removed

2 medium cloves garlic very finely chopped

A scant half teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Top and tail the beans and then stick them on to steam. This should take about 5-8 minutes;  enough time to get the mushrooms ready. First of all, give them a wipe with a barely damp cloth or piece of kitchen paper (mushrooms should never ever be immersed in water as they end up completely sodden and it’s next to impossible to fry them). So, a quick wipe then slice them into large bitesize pieces. Heat some oil on the pan and throw them on then toss until golden brown which should take about 7 minutes. By this time your beans should be just about ready – you want them with a bit of crunchy but with enough give so that they mix well with the other ingredients. Rinse them under the cold tap so they stop cooking and stay crunchy then drain completely and mix with the sauted mushrooms and the onion.

To make the dressing simple mix all the ingredients together. Taste and add more soy, vinegar or honey as you see fit (it should be fine but just in case!!). Dress the vegetables and then serve warm or at room temperature.

The potatoes in your bag this week are the Charlotte variety and they are pretty fancy. Exceptionally waxy (I know, not very popular in Ireland but we’ve got the rest of the winter for floury spuds) they are fab in salads. Try them with this week’s beans, rocket or lettuce, walnuts and goat’s cheese. Dress with your best olive oil and some sherry vinegar – Enjoy!!