Sometimes a meal just works. Everything is ready at the same time, the side dishes perfectly complement the main course and it all looks good on the plate. This is a very simple meal but one we very much enjoyed.  The lamb chops are seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled until medium-rare.

The two side dishes are from the August 2010 issue of Chatelaine. For the Tarragon Beans, simply blanch the beans and toss them with a simple dressing of olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, tarragon and salt.

For the potato salad, cook the potatoes until tender and toss with red-wine vinegar, Dijon, shallots, salt and oil. Add more vinaigrette and parsley just before serving.

To avoid additives and preservatives in these recipes, use wine vinegars with no sulfites added and a Dijon mustard without preservatives or colour (I use President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon).

Tarragon Beans


½ lb each green and yellow beans

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp white-wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon

1 garlic clove, mined

1 tbsp fresh tarragon or ½ tsp dried

1/8 tsp salt


Trim beans and cook in boiling water until tender-crisp, 3-5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, white-wine vinegar, Dijon, garlic, tarragon and salt. Drain beans and toss with dressing. Serves 4.

Baby Red Potato Salad


2 lbs baby red-skinned potatoes

¼ cup red-wine vinegar

¼ cup grainy Dijon mustard

1 shallot, finely chopped

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ cup finely chopped parsley


Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook until tender, 17 to 20 min. Drain. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and place in a very large bowl.

Whisk vinegar with Dijon, shallots and salt. Whisk in oil. Add half of this vinaigrette to warm potatoes. Stir to coat.

Cool potatoes to room temperature. Just before serving, stir in remaining vinaigrette and parsley. Serves 6.

From the August 2010 issue of Chatelaine