Friday, December 10, 2004

warm arugula and potato salad

I lived in West Hollywood for 6 months, on Spaulding Ave between Melrose & Santa Monica Blvd. Interesting neighborhood, Oki-Dog right around the corner, lots of Russians and Jews & Russian Jews, horrible parking (I got SO many parking tickets from stupid street cleaning). I had a tiny studio with hardwood floors, overflowing with packed boxes because my last apartment was so huge. Funny, the boxes never really got unpacked.

For those 6 months I only had a mini-fridge, but it was a good thing that Trader Joes was just down the street, so I could keep in quick supply. One particularily frugal evening I devised this recipe & loved it. It's warm and satisfying, and the pepperiness of the arugula goes nicely with the oil, vinegar, and warm flavors of potato.

Warm Arugula and Potato Salad
Serves 2 persons

1 medium potato
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups arugula
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, flaked (preferably) or grated
1/4 tsp. Salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice potato very thin (1/8" or thinner). Heat oil in skillet over high heat and add potato slices to oil when almost smoking, arranged in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes, turn to flip, and then add minced garlic, red pepper flakes and salt. Allow potatoes to brown slightly. Place arugula in large mixing bowl. Transfer potatoes and leftover pan drippings to arugula. Add balsamic vinegar and toss. Plate, top with parmesan flakes and fresh ground pepper, and serve immediately while warm.

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