SALADS are truly underrated in many kitchens. So often you can really make an entire meal out of one and not with a tons of fats or carbs. However I love carbs and one of my favorite ways to get my fix is through POTATOES. Hello?? There are more way to make a potato besides french frying it or mashing it. Not sure if there are many other ingredients with such great versatility in the kitchen. Hit up a local green grocer, Farmers Market, Farm stand or your supermarket’s produce counter and you will find a host of ideas like a recent trip to the Farm market did for me. I bought (locally grown, how fortunate is that?) POTATOES, ARUGULA, RED ONIONS, TOMATOES and for a side salad/dish for grilled chicken we were having that night I put together this salad which I crowned with a simple VINAIGRETTE and toasted WALNUTS. For you nut averse types you will miss out on the nutty crunch and taste but the salad without the nuts is still quite wonderful. I urge you to try it.
For 4-5 people. Takes abour 1 hour start to finish, or less.
1 lb cleaned small redskin potatoes, boiled in plenty of salted water until they are just tender (a fork will glide right thru them), about 15 minutes then GET THEM OUT OF THAT WATER or they will continue to cook and start smashing onto each other. Dramatic perhaps but once they are smashed they are overcooked and tasteless. Remove with a slotted spoon or a spider and place into a bowl of ice water. GENTLY, don’t turn them out at the same time because they will get crushed. Let them sit for about 5 minutes cooling down. It’s ok if they are slightly warm though when you make the salad.
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbs. Dijon Mustard
kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper
3 tbs. finely diced red onion
2 tbs. good Apple Cider or Champagne Vinegar (or Sherry Vinegar)
2 ripe, seeded, diced beefsteak tomatoes or 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups chopped baby arugula
1/8 cup toasted walnuts
While the potatoes are cooking, prep everything else. The vinaigrette is simply made by adding all the ingredients except for the oil into a boil..whisk together well. Now in a slow stream whisk the OliveOil in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve on side.
When the potatoes are cooled, drain, pat dry and quarter them. add the tomatoes, and the arugula. Season with salt and pepper. Toss together well. IMPORTANT HERE…check the taste…you have to always taste you food as you go along. If you are satisfied with the seasoning, then add the walnuts and the vinaigrette and toss, gently getting everything coated with the dressing. Let this sit for a good 15 minutes. Then serve. It’s a great salad, especially during the Summer months. Hit those produce markets, food never tastes as good unless you are growing it yourself.