I’ve been sitting here, munching on grapes, for about thirty minutes, trying come up with some sort of excuse for my absence on this blog I once visited several times a week. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to show for the past half an hour, except a black tongue and a bit of a belly bubble (grapes get me every time). It appears I just needed a break, a little time away from the potentially addictive social instrument that the internet has become...sometimes its just too much for me. I needed mornings without typing, meals without cameras and a little extra time to explore other, non-culinary, areas of my life. I needed balance and perspective.
So now here I am, months later, grateful for those of you who have stuck around and even grateful for those who didn’t. There is something so satisfying about capturing inspiration; to share it with others is just pure joy, and I miss it. I want to post again, to have fun, feed others and be fed.
Tonight’s dinner was a simple one, but simple is still worth sharing.
HERB SALAD WITH POTATOES, RADISH & CRISPY PANCETTA
approximately 4 servings (as a light lunch or first course)
2 pounds baby potatoes, scrubbed clean
6 ounces pancetta, sliced ~1/4” thick
2 bunches baby radishes (or about 12), scrubbed and quartered
6 cups hand-torn or roughly snipped herbs (I used purslane, chives, thyme and flat-leaf parsley)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place baby new potatoes in a large pot; cover with cold water (you start the whole potatoes in cold water so that they cook evenly – from the center out); bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow potatoes to cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted meets no resistance. Drain potatoes and allow them to cool to room temperature. Halve or quarter potatoes, depending on their size.
Meanwhile, place pancetta slices on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven approximately 15 minutes, or until the pancetta is brown and crispy; drain on paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, a pinch of salt and olive oil. Add potatoes, radishes and herbs. Break apart pancetta into large pices and add to the bowl. Gently toss the salad, plate and serve at once (really, at once; herbs wilt very quickly).