Crisp Fresh Romaine and Baby Arugula Salad… with a Twist

A generous garden salad is a mainstay at our table nearly every evening.  There is nothing quicker and easier than filling a large wooden bowl with a combination of chopped or torn salad greens and then adding whatever else happens to be in the produce drawer of the refrigerator.  We seem to always have on hand fresh white mushrooms which are thinly sliced, as well as red bell pepper.  A portion of an English cucumber goes in too.  I recently discovered that matchstick-sized sweet white onion slices are a magnificent addition rather than the sliced red onions commonly associated with a salad.  White onions truly are sweeter and less powerful than the red variety and deserve more attention when it comes to the salad bowl!  The greens are then dressed very simply with a good quality extra virgin olive oil and tangy red wine vinegar… as well as salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Quick, simple, easy… and very tasty and satisfying!  A couple of evenings ago I felt inspired to try something new and different… but what? I had made a quick trip to the market earlier in the day and came home with a shopping bag filled with a variety of things, one of the items being white fingerling potatoes.  As I looked at the potatoes I had one of those “Aha!” moments.  Why not season and roast the potatoes, bountifully adding them to the dressed greens?  I served the salad alongside grilled lamb burgers stuffed with creamy goat cheese.  What a meal it was!  The following recipe serves two generously.

Hearts of Romaine & Baby Arugula with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  While the oven is heating proceed with the following:

  • 8-oz (or more, depending upon how hungry you are!) white fingerling potatoes, cut in half lengthwise

Place cut potatoes in a medium sized bowl and toss to coat with:

  • 2 fresh bay leaves (preferably Turkish), finely chopped

Note:  If fresh bay leaves are not available to you they can be substituted with dried.

  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 – 2 T extra virgin olive oil

Place on a sheet pan and roast for 35 – 40 minutes, or until edges are beginning to brown and crisp.  While the potatoes are roasting, crisp in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat:

  • 4-oz thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped

This goes quickly, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, so watch closely to avoid them becoming too dark.  Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel.  Set aside to be used as garnish.

In a salad bowl mix together a combination of:

  • romaine hearts, coarsely chopped
  • baby arugula leaves

Note:  Use as many greens as you wish, depending upon how large of a salad you desire.

When the potatoes have roasted remove them from the oven and toss in a bowl with:

  • 1/3 C freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Toss the greens with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Plate the greens and garnish with the crisped prosciutto.  Top with  the potatoes and serve… Bon Appetit!

Copyright 2009 Via Aurea Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved

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Categories: Salads

Author:Steve Meyer & Dayton Azevedo

Food and fine cooking have been our passion for many years, fueled by the year-around abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats, as well as aromatic spices and herbs readily available to us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, making adventuresome, creative and delicious 5-star cooking a reality in our kitchen. Our aim is to make it yours as well by utilizing our step by step instructions and serial photographs. Bon Appetit from our kitchen to yours...!

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One Comment on “Crisp Fresh Romaine and Baby Arugula Salad… with a Twist”

  1. France
    November 14, 2009 at 1:53 AM #

    OMG! How brilliantly creative. This salad along with the salmon cakes are such a beautiful dinner D and S! I may make them both on Sunday since we already have tonight done and tomorrow out with friends. Mission Impossible: Should you choose-Steve bought a 5 pound bag of fresh spinach at Costco for 2 people. HELP. Sauteed spinach, cream of spinach soup-what else?? Love you guys.

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