June 30th, 2014

A charred red onion-string bean-new potato dish, the book, and a busy summer


Cool mornings, steamy afternoons, with isolated downpours daily,
have been the recipe for a lush, dense, almost tropical backyard,
and a happy garden plot:
Chest-high tomato plants are laden with the promise of abundance;
Prolific golden-bloomed squashes double in size overnight, hidden under their great leaf umbrellas;
Aggressive cucumber vines amble over stakes and wires, ever-seeking new places to latch on and climb.

June is done. Summer is here in full regalia.


And, the cookbook is out! Between tending my garden and teaching teen cooking camp, I’ve been making presentations–in book stores, at two restaurants, our farmers’ market, on local television: demonstrating recipes, reading, signing, answering questions, telling our story. The response has been wonderful.

And, it is just the beginning.

In the meantime, I wanted to check in with you and share a recipe. This one is of the quick-and-easy variety: a kind of potato salad (I know, another potato salad recipe?)

New potatoes and string beans are dressed in a Greek yogurt sauce folded with charred red onions. There’s something about it that harkens to old school tastes in an appealing way–however updated. The combination of sea salt, cayenne, a dash of Worchestershire sauce with those crispy onion pieces in thick yogurt cream reminds me of “French Onion Dip.” Only I think you’ll find this one to be much, much better—and certainly healthier.


Stirred into a mixture of petite new potatoes (still slightly warm!) and whatever young string beans you can find (I am partial to yellow wax beans.) the charred red onion dressing (and, yes, it doubles as a dip. Get out your sweet potato chips!) creates a delicious picnic side dish. It is a different take on potato salad.

And goodness knows, as long as there are potatoes and ingenuity, there will always be yet another take on potato salad. Embrace variety!

Thank you all for your interest in and support of my cookbook.
For those of you who have asked “How Can I Buy It?”
Here are the possibilities:
Online at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Books-a-Million (links are upper right on this page)
In Tennessee: All of the SAM’S CLUBS are stocking the book.
In Nashville: These independent booksellers: Bookman Bookwoman Books in Hillsboro Village and Parnassus in Green Hills.

You may also ask your local bookstore to order the book for you.


Garden New Potatoes with Yellow Wax Beans and Charred Red Onion
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
1/2 pound yellow wax beans (or young green beans), ends snapped
charred red onion dressing (recipe below)

Place potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Simmer and cook until tender—about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Fill a skillet with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Blanche the beans in batches (do not overcrowd) for 3-4 minutes.
Fill a bowl with ice water. Plunge cooked beans into the ice water bath to chill and stop the cooking.

Drain well.

In a large bowl, fold the potatoes, beans, and charred onion dressing together until well-coated. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6-8


Charred Red Onion Dip/Dressing
adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup chopped grilled red onion
1 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the onion into chunks and place onto a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Roast until the onion edges become dark brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and cool. Chop coarsely.

Combine the onion with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until well combined.


Posted in Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Sauces, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

21 Responses to “A charred red onion-string bean-new potato dish, the book, and a busy summer”
  1. Eileen Says:

    Yes! I make a potato and green bean salad very much like this one. I love the idea of adding charred red onions! Such a great counterpoint. Congratulations on your new book!

  2. Joyti Says:

    Wow, the charred onion sounds delicious. Such a good idea, to add it to green beans and potatoes. Yum!

    I look forward to your book (AFTER I’m done studying though).

  3. Kathy Says:

    I love the charred onions.
    Biggest Congratulations on your new book!!

  4. Kath Says:

    My copy was dispatched by Amazon UK yesterday and I can’t wait for it to land on the mat! Those beans are beautiful.

  5. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Eileen, Joyti, and Kathy–
    Many thanks for your good wishes. I am excited about the book finally being Real.

    Kath–I can’t wait for you to see it, and turn the pages. Thrilled that my book is soon to land across the pond.

  6. Barbara Says:

    Nothing like a heavy rain to make the garden grow, Nancy! Glad things are looking tropical in your yard!
    Super potato salad!
    Can’t wait to read your book…..many congratulations and wishing you great success!

  7. Maggie Says:

    Hey Nance, great looking potato salad! And I have really been enjoying the book!!! It really is beautiful, informative, and FUN!!!

  8. goodfoodmatters Says:

    thanks, Mag! This potato salad is not unlike one that you and I have made before, but takes on a different tang from the Greek yogurt and charred onions.

  9. ernestine Says:

    I missed meeting you…
    Maybe in the future :)
    Busy times and no time for Nashville :(
    My book arrived from Amazon.

  10. JP & Lynn Evans Says:

    I’m going to have that for my birthday on the 4th of July, looks better than fireworks!

  11. fluffy Says:

    nothing finer than charred onions and potatoes

    needs mustard

  12. Teresa, foodonfifth Says:

    This looks terrific. Charred onions are a wonderful touch added in amongst the beans and potatoes. And that dressing, ooh lal la how lovely this would be for dining alfresco after the sun sets. Your book it quite a hit Nancy and that makes me very happy for you. T

  13. Sesame Says:

    I love this
    Healthy version of French Onion Dip
    Great potato salad idea

  14. Jean Says:

    Congratulations on the book!
    Cannot wait to read it!

  15. Kath Says:

    The book is beautiful and inspiring. I cannot wait to curl up with it tonight. I don’t think I have ever been as excited as when I turned to page 144!! Thank you lovely Nancy.

  16. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    You had me at charred red onion : )

  17. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Ernestine-we’ll have to plan a meeting and I’ll sign your book. I do hope you’ll enjoy it. Thanks for your support.

    Fluf– a little coarse grain mustard is a good idea.

    Kath–So happy you found page 144!

  18. Beth Says:

    What a gorgeous salad! So glad to hear that your cookbook is doing well.

  19. Juliana Says:

    Congratulations on your new book Nancy!
    The dip/dressing sounds delicious…and I can only imagine delicious the potatoes and the beans will taste with it.
    Have a wonderful week :D

  20. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    what is better than red onions? Charred red onions. I can’t think of anything better, sweet and smokey flavor. I just love it and this salad looks out of this world. Would be perfect for our pool party this weekend

  21. Tammy Says:

    Salad looks wonderful. I will give it a go on the weekend. Off to get my book now!

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