Warm salad with chorizo, roasted pepper, new potatoes, feta and rocket.
Gone are the days when the term salad referred to a sad wilted lettuce leaf and perhaps a rubbery piece of cucumber if you were lucky. Salads used to be a thing in the past which were ordered in restaurants by skeletal models who then pushed the sad green leaves around the plate. Not any more my friends, not anymore. Thanks to the likes of the Waldorf, the Caesar, the Nicoise, salads are no longer something that would make you feel sad when you look at your plate. They are no longer the staples of depressing diets and sad detoxes. They are a now a truly delicious staple in their own right. They are great to experiment with and play around with. I hardly ever make exactly the same salad twice, not because I don’t like the ones I have made before, but once you’ve got some great dressings up your sleeve, you can throw in whatever you’ve got in the fridge and shake things up a bit.
To ease you into the whole salad scene, this is quite a robust salad which might push your idea of what constitutes a salad to the limits. But a salad it is. I mean it has green stuff on it. Ergo it’s a salad. It has amazing Mediterranean flavours and would be equally great for a lazy weekend lunch, an easy weekday supper or whipped up for a fancy pants dinner party.
- 2 x jars of chargrilled roasted peppers
- 225 g chorizo
- 16 x new potatoes
- 2 x garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large handful parsley
- 1 x handful of chives
- salt and pepper
- 1 handful rocket
- 100g hazelnuts
- 50g feta
- handful of black pitted olives
- First things first, preheat your oven to 180 C.
- Tip your hazelnuts into a baking tray and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Then pop in the oven to toast - this should take about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them. You want to be a lovely light golden brown not like a nut with a sun tan as otherwise it will taste bitter.
- Meanwhile, chop your potatoes in half and boil until tender. You should be able to pierce them easily with a knife when they are done. When they're cooked, drain and return to the pan.
- Put a sieve over a bowl and tip your peppers in - save this oil for later - it will be delicious to cook anything with.
- Tip the peppers onto a board and give them a shake to get off the excess oil.
- Now slice the peppers in half lengthways to make them a bit more delicate and less chunky.
- Once sliced, pop your peppers in the pan with the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the crushed garlic.
- Slice your chorizo and throw into a hot frying pan. You don't need to add any oil as the chorizo will release its own delicious amber oil.
- While the chorizo is sizzling, finely chop your chives and parsley and throw these into the pan with the peppers and potatoes. Turn on the heat and warm gently whilst the chorizo cooks.
- This is a perfect salad to do piled up on one large plate for everyone to dig into, but it also looks great in individual portions if you fancy making a bit of an extra eff0rt
- Tip your rocket into bowl and drizzle with a tiny bit of the pepper oil. Sprinkle with salt and place a little pile in the middle of each plate.
- Lay the peppers around the rocket, and then lay 4 potato halves on each plate.
- Place 4 pieces of chorizo on each plate.
- Crumble the feta on and then sprinkle with hazelnuts and a few black olives.
- Then add a little ball of rocket on the top to add some height to the dish and drizzle with one spoon of the pepper oil.
This dish is like getting an enormous smacker from the Med. Close your eyes and you could be on the set of Mamma Mia. Scampering along the sand and doing cartwheels as the waves tickle your toes
If you are one of those little beavers who are dutifully avoiding carbs, just leave out the potatoes!
Not a limp looking lettuce leaf in sight…Lettuce Rejoice!