Monday, August 12, 2013
I have a real problem when it comes to potatoes. When cooking, I set aside the amount I think will be enough for the number of people I am cooking for. And then I freak out. That just doesn’t look like enough! What if there isn’t enough food? What happens if - god forbid - someone wants seconds and there is none?!
And so I always add at least six more potatoes, no matter what I’m cooking and no matter what the dish is. Roasted in the oven, pureed in a soup or just baked.
Which, if you’re following this line of thought correctly always leads to potato leftovers.
My go to recipe for left over roast potatoes is to put them in a frittata. But lately Emma has been on a steamed potato kick, so I’ve been steaming them and then tossing them with chives and a bit of olive oil. Emma somehow thinks this is diet food, and I’m not going to tell her any differently.
While I could turn the inevitable leftovers into a frittata, the other day I needed a quick side dish so turned two cups of left overs into an incredibly decadent and porky salad.
A handful of pancetta cubes, (see, I’ve told you a slab of pancetta in your fridge will always come in handy and should be considered a staple), a red onion and some olive oil and vinegar and that was that. Even Domenico, who doesn’t like cold leftovers (it’s an Italian thing) was fooled into thinking this was anything but.
While you could start from scratch, and steam potatoes specifically for this salad, much easier to over do it the night before. Who wants to be steaming potatoes in the middle of a hot summer day? But eating porky potato salad? Everyone wants to be doing that.
porky potato salad
(serves 4 as a side dish)
2 cups cubed steamed potatoes, room temperature
1/2 cup cubed pancetta
1 small red onion diced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
Chopped parsley or chives
Place the cooked potatoes in a serving bowl.
Heat a small frying pan and add the olive oil and pancetta. When the pancetta is cooked through, and starts to crisp at the edge, add the chopped onion and about a half tsp of salt and some freshly cracked pepper. Cook for one minute, turn off heat and add the vinegar.
Toss potatoes with hot pancetta mixture, adding the rest of the olive oil. Toss with herbs and adjust seasonings.