How time flies. It has been 10 days since my last blog and now I find myself off to Cornwall for a weeks holiday. The fridge needed to be emptied and three new potatoes, an over ripe tomato and some local asparagus yielded this salad. I'm rather pleased with the result. A few shavings of Parmesan or a crumbling of goats cheese would really lift the dish.......but i didn't have any!
A little tip, if you reduce cheap balsamic vinegar to a syrup, the flavour is much improved and the harsh acidity is vented to the atmosphere. Drizzle it over salads, braised lamb, strawberries etc....and it makes a great salad dressing. For one:
3 new potatoes
1 small shallot
1 ripe tomato
Basic olive oil for frying
Your best extra virgin olive oil for dressing
Cheap balsamic - 50ml
Salt and freshly crushed black pepper
Gently boil away the balsamic by 2/3 until syrupy. Microwave the new potatoes until just soft. Slice, season and slowly fry in the olive oil until golden and crisp on both sides. Finely slice the tomato and very finely slice the peeled shallot - I used a Japanese mandolin. On a large serving plate, scatter the tomato slices about and place a wafer thin slice of shallot on top of each. Season the tomato with salt and pepper, drizzle with balsamic reduction and your best olive oil.
Blanch the asparagus until just cooked, drain and drizzle with best olive oil and toss about a bit to glaze the spears. Artfully arrange the sauté potatoes on the serving plate, then the asparagus. Drizzle with more balsamic syrup if you think it needs it.