You know the feeling of finishing a really good book? Kind of like the world has ended and you’re left standing all alone. There is another universe that exists between those pages, one that extends beyond the words written and the dialogue exchanged. It seeps into your mind and begins to grow roots, so that you find yourself thinking of its landscape while stirring your morning oatmeal, or losing track mid-conversation because you find yourself wondering if the voices you had become so accustom to have carried on without you to a place you can’t go.
I always feel a certain sense of loss when I close the dust jacket and set the book back on its shelf. Escaping into new worlds is one of the greatest pleasures I know, and if I can get so truly lost that my tea goes cold and the light fades before I remember to get up, I know I’ve entered into a new space. It’s a kind of bleeding palette from the story to the inside of my brain. I know the world is half imagined by me and half by the author. Every person’s experience with this particular world will be different – salmon to coral, indigo to iris.
Getting lost is so intimate, whether that be within the pages of a book or on a long flat road through a town at dusk. It’s an opportunity to get re-acquainted with yourself.
I find that same feeling can be achieved with food. Of course, cooking isn’t always meditative and indulgent. Sometimes it is messy and quick with the sole purpose of filling a hungry belly. In those times when I can truly let go however, it does become more artistic and personal. It’s amazing to taste flavours in your mind and then translate them to a plate for someone else to taste.
Not that this salad is a great work of art. It’s simple. And that’s what I am loving right now.
The roasted potatoes are the starring role – crispy from the olive oil, lightly spiced, and perfectly fluffy on the inside (due to the parboil). Apple provides that necessary crunch and a little tang and sweet, and then the salty capers and toasted almonds balance the rest out. I went for a slightly creamy, acidic/sweet kind of dressing. Mustard vinaigrettes are always a favourite and this one compliments the roasted potatoes so well that you’ll be scraping the bottom of the bowl to get every last bit.
Roasted Potato & Apple Arugula Salad w/ Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2 – 3
Potatoes & Salad:
- 1 1/2 lb white nugget potatoes, sliced into quarters (or small wedges)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups packed arugula
- 1 gala apple, sliced into matchsticks
- 2 tsp capers
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Fill a medium pot with water and add 1 tsp salt. Add the chopped potatoes to the cold water. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 4 minutes. Drain. Lay then parboiled potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until crispy and golden.
To make the vinaigrette add all ingredients to a mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake until creamy and combined.
To assemble the salad place the arugula in a large serving bowl. Top with potatoes, apple, capers, and toasted almonds. Add dressing starting with half and continuing to taste. Serve immediately. Dressing will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.