1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 green onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
8 ounces hearts of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
4 pints red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
2 red, orange, and/or yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Heat 3-quart saucepan of water to boiling on high. Add green beans and cook 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Drain beans in colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, chives, parsley, green onion, salt, and pepper until blended; set dressing aside.
In 4-quart or larger cylindrical glass bowl or trifle dish, place half of lettuce, then half of tomatoes; top with all of beans, all of peppers, remaining lettuce, then remaining tomatoes. Arrange avocados on top. Spoon dressing over avocados to cover completely. If not serving right away, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate salad until ready to serve or up to 4 hours.
If serving bowl is not large enough for mixing, transfer salad to very large bowl and toss until well coated with dressing. Makes about 14 cups.
2 pounds small potatoes, preferably heirloom
1 cup chopped celery
2 ounces smoked ham, sliced into strips
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or dill
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 large hard-boiled eggs
Place potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until just tender, 12 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and let cool for about 15 minutes.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, taste a bit of potato skin-if it's bitter or tough, peel the potatoes. Otherwise, leave the skins on. Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and put them in a large salad bowl.
Add celery, ham, parsley, chives (or scallions) and mint (or dill) to the potatoes. Toss to combine. Add buttermilk, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Gently stir in chopped egg. Serve at room temperature or chilled.