It's officially Summer and I've already taken full advantage of the bright flavors and juicy watermelons this season has to offer. My ice cream machine has been hard at work churning out brown sugar carrot gelato and banana pudding ice cream, and I'm trying to figure out how to make every dessert taste like a s'more…. More on that later.
Summer is so full of inspiration, and much of that takes a sweet form, but my palate has been yearning for something light and savory -- something like a salad.
I think this will be my go-to summer salad. Last year I made this one a lot, but this year I was looking for something slightly heartier. I found what I was yearning for by gathering a bunch of my favorite things from the market and tossing them in a super garlicky dressing that could make just about anything become as addicting as a potato chip.
It is incredibly simple, and you likely have all the required ingredients in your kitchen right now. Lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, garlic, and a hearty helping of pecorino romano. Of course, if you have parmesan lying around you could certainly use that instead. Just make things easy on yourself. It's Summer, after all.
I really like having protein in my salads, because, to be perfectly honest, if I don't, I end up wanting a second lunch around 2pm. Chicken is typically my go-to but I often forget to grill it ahead of time, and when it's time for lunch I rarely feel like firing up the grill just for a salad. So, I turned to a cured meat, such as salami, that requires no cooking whatsoever.
It provides me with the protein I crave and the simplicity I need. It's also a total treat because it's rich, flavorful, and indulgent. Win, win!
The roasted fingerlings are probably/definitely my favorite part of this salad situation. I had to restrain myself from eating them all before they made it to the salad.
If you would like to make this salad even simpler, just roast your potatoes ahead of time and refrigerate! You can warm them up a bit in the microwave before adding them to your salad.
If you have never tried marinated cherry peppers, they are very sweet and mildly spicy. They bring a lovely element to a salad, such as a handful of olives might add.
I love all the vibrant colors. Don't forget to top your salad with an extra dose of grated pecorino romano! Like anyone would forget cheese...
It's lunch time. Step away from your desk, scroll through Instagram and enjoy Summer in salad form.
Spicy and Bright Summer Salad with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
for the dressing
- 2 tablespoons pecorino romano, finely grated
- 1 clove garlic, grated into a paste
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl or jar combine pecorino romano, grated garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking constantly to form an emulsion. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
for the salad
- 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 5 cups spring lettuce
- 1/4 marinated cherry peppers, sliced into strips
- 1/4 cup sliced salami
- pecorino romano, to taste
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl combine olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add fingerling potatoes and toss to coat. Spread the potatoes evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are deep golden brown and fork tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly while you prepare the other salad components.
Pour half of the prepared dressing into the bottom of a medium bowl. Add lettuce, cherry peppers, salami, and roasted potatoes. Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Top with an extra dose of pecorino romano and serve immediately. Enjoy!