Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Meaty potato salad...

I can't believe the time has passed already - one year ago today, our old buddy Spike crossed over. He is still in our minds daily, thinking about how his quirky ways made our lives better and the undeniable loyal love he gave us. You will always have a special place in our hearts and we will never forget you!

On a somewhat lighter note, how about we quickly move back into the food world? I took a recipe that was probably intended to be more of a side dish and added some chopped grilled chicken for a bit of protein for dinner tonight. What we ended up preparing was this Roasted Potato, Garlic and Red Pepper Salad with Grilled Chicken that we decided worked well as a main dish... at least for us!

We tossed slender halved pieces of fingerling potatoes and a chopped red bell pepper with enough oil to coat, along with the must-have salt and fresh ground black pepper to develop their inherent flavors. The garlic was roasted along side those vegetables, but we singled out the unpeeled cloves and wrapped them in foil for a bit of protection against the heat - separating them into individual cloves also has the benefit of speeding up their cook time. I would suggest keeping an eye on the peppers - about 5 minutes before the potatoes were tender enough to call them done, the peppers were plenty done and much longer would have taken them too far. You may even want to opt for dicing them a bit larger so you don't have to worry about them getting too done.

As soon as we pulled the pan out, we doused the potatoes with balsamic vinegar and since the potatoes were pipping hot, the tangy liquid was soaked right up. The garlic was done at the same time, so as soon as the cloves were cool enough to handle, we squished them out from their protective skin and mashed 'em together with more of that vinegar and a little oil to smooth it out. The potatoes, peppers and a couple cups of chopped chicken that I grilled were then tossed with that mellow garlic mixture. Just before we were ready to eat, we freshened up the salad by tossing shreds of fresh basil (which sadly didn't come from the backyard... that will change soon though, as the plants are finally starting to take off!) and crumbles of creamy goat cheese on top.

This was quite the pleasing combination and we found roasting the potatoes added such depth that you just couldn't achieve by boiling them. Bulking the salad up with the chopped chicken definitely aided in bringing a more hearty nature, but I know we would have enjoyed this just as much if we left it out and served this as a side dish instead. The one thing I thought this lacked was a contrasting texture - everything was on the softer side, but I bet tossing on some toasted nuts (pine nuts especially!) would fix that, along with boosting its overall appeal.


  1. I LOVE vinegar based potato salads. This sounds very tasty to me... I bet adding other roasted veggies would be tasty too.

  2. One of the best potato salads I ever had was doused with vinegar as soon as the potatoes were cooked. And roasting the potatoes? Genius--can't wait to try it.

  3. potatoes are one of my favorites. this dish look fabulous.. yummyy!! cant wait to try this out :) found this blog very creative and intresting.. keep it up!!

  4. Spike was a beautiful dog. I know how hard it can be to say goodbye. I am, however, so glad you have Gus and Max to keep you cheery-eyed! And moving quickly to food, this "salad" looks awesome. I love taking side dishes and turning them into mains!

  5. Josie - What other kinds would you add?

    Linda - Let us know what you think if you give this a try!

    Nora - Thanks!

    Elyse - Thank you.