I’ve spent the past two days walking around on institutional carpeting and listening to panels discuss things like “dynamism” while wearing a plastic name tag the size of my head. Is it just me, or is there a kind of crippling, low-level horror and humiliation that underlies all work-related interactive events? They’re always vaguely reminiscent of that episode of The Office (the real one) where they’re at a training conference and David Brent wildly misses the point of the role-playing exercise (“There’s been a rape up there!”).
In any case, last night I had originally planned to make a full meal involving roasted skin-on chicken breasts, new potatoes and panzanella (which is an Italian salad made up of bread, tomatoes and other veggies). Tim was out for the evening though, and when I got home the chicken didn’t seem all that appealing (nor the process of actually having to cook it). So I just incorporated the potatoes into the salad instead.
(The potatoes aren’t in the picture because I added them into the salad at the last minute).
- Cooking spray
- Loaf of sourdough bread (or any country-style loaf)
- 1/2 up feta cheese, cubed
- 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or 2 larger tomatoes, chopped)
- 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup red/orange/yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 dill pickle, finely chopped
- 1 fresh chili pepper, fine dice
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups new potatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
For bread cubes, preheat oven to 400. Remove crust from loaf, then cut loaf into cubes about 1-2 inches square. Place bread cubes on tray, spray with cooking spray, and toast in oven 6-8 minutes or until lightly brown and beginning to crisp. Remove from oven and set aside.
For potatoes, place halved/quartered potatoes on a lightly oiled tray and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary, salt & pepper. Add to 400 degree oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure even roasting. Put mayo and sriracha in a small bowl, then add hot potatoes and stir until potatoes are lightly coated. Set aside.
For dressing, combine vinegar, water, mustard, garlic and sugar in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Or, put all the dressing ingredients in an old jam jar and shake to combine/emulsify).
To assemble salad, put tomatoes in a large bowl, salt aggresively & leave for ten minutes or so to let juices start to flow. Then place the rest of the sliced/chopped veggies in with tomatoes, along with pickles, parsley, chili, beans, cheese, and toasted bread cubes. Drizzle with dressing and stir to combine.
To serve, put 2 cups of salad in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup of spicy potatoes. Garnish with fennel fronds.