Pesto Potato Salad


Basil Pesto

  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves (preferably Genovese-style), loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2/3 cup fruity, mild extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed for covering
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon®)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

 Potato Salad

  • 1 cup assorted summer beans (such as Romano, wax and green beans)
  • 1 pound Idaho® Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup Basil Pesto (see recipe), divided
  • 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives or other green olives, pitted and sliced into rounds
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 whole basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup whole pine nuts, toasted
  • Pecorino Romano (or any pecorino) cheese, shaved with a peeler, as needed for garnish



Basil Pesto

  1. Place blender jar in freezer to chill. Meanwhile, submerge the basil and parsley in a large bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Using your hands, gently lift herbs from the water. Repeat soaking again, using fresh cold water and ice. Let soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove blender jar from freezer. Place the garlic, oil and salt in the blender and blend until smooth. Working in batches, lift herbs from the water, shaking excess but not all water from the leaves (a bit of water will make a smooth pesto), and add to blender. Blend using short pulses for each addition of herbs, just to break down the larger leaves (do not over-blend). Finally, add the cheeses and blend on medium-high until smooth. Remove from blender and place over an ice bath; chill until cold. (Cover the surface of any leftover pesto with more olive oil, then cover with plastic wrap and a lid; pesto will keep in freezer for about a month.)

Potato Salad

  1. Cut the summer beans on a bias into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large pot filled with 3 quarts of cold water, add the potatoes and season with 1/2 cup of the kosher salt. Place the pot over medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook potatoes until tender but still with a bit of resistance to a knife, 20 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Using a slotted spoon, remove potatoes from the water (reserve cooking water in pot) and let cool on a sheet tray for a few minutes. Meanwhile, return the pot to a boil; blanch the summer beans until tender, 1 to 2 minutes, then shock in ice water. 
  3. While the potatoes are still warm, slice them into 1/2-inch rounds and place in a bowl. Toss potatoes with about 2 1/2 tablespoons pesto and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (by doing this while the potatoes are slightly warm, they act as a sponge and absorb the pesto).
  4. In a mixing bowl, toss the blanched beans, olives, lemon juice and olive oil with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  5. To plate, arrange the pesto potato slices in an even layer on a platter as your base. Place the bean/olive mixture on top of the potatoes, then dollop the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons pesto over the top. Garnish with the basil leaves, pine nuts and shaved cheese. The potato salad can be served immediately or held for a few hours in the refrigerator and served cold. 
Print Recipe

Yield: 6

Sarah Grueneberg
Monteverde Restaurant
Chicago, IL

Share this Recipe