My husband and I once suppressed our mocking giggles throughout a very pompous speech. The speech was made by a Very Big Corporate Wig in my husband’s then company.
The setting for the speech was sumptuous; a moonlit Italian castle overlooking an Italian lake. We’d walked up an Italian path to get there, the path had been lit by flaming torches. It all scored pretty high on the wow-o-meter. Maybe it was because they knew we had to endure the after-dinner speech and they wanted to soften us up.
Anyway, I thought I’d introduce my salad in a rather pompous way as an homage to that very dull Italian Speech.
"Those of you who know me well don’t need to be told that I enjoy salad. Salad satisfies me on many, many levels. When I espy a colourful mixed salad on a pure white plate, I don’t mind telling you that I rejoice.
The salad we are talking about today boasts a myriad of colours.
Notice how the vibrant green is enhanced and improved by the sombre noir of the olive. The succulent new potatoes jostling for space with the avocado. The exquisite contrast of sweetness and acid as the orange and vinaigrette compete for the affection of your taste buds.
Reader, let me continue no further. But I exhort you to enjoy this delightful creation. Now let’s raise a glass and drink to….my ego’.
Pompous Italian Salad (Serves 1 very hungry adult or two lunching ladies)
4 new potatoes (diced)
About 10 pitted black olives
1-2 oranges (if orange in a salad is too weird for you, you can leave it out, or replace with sweetcorn)Big handful of Rocket leaves (or other green leaf that you like)
Fresh mint (about 6 big leaves)
1 tbsp dairy-free spread
Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Vinaigrette, click Here
- Put a pan of water on to boil and dice the new potatoes
- Cut the black olives into rounds and put aside
- Peel and dice the avocado and put aside
- Peel the orange(s) and cut into small cubes removing the pith, or rip into chunks if you don’t mind the pith
- Chop the mint leaves very finely
- Put the potatoes into the boiling water and boil until tender, about 10-15 minutes
- Make the vinaigrette
- Drain them and let the steam evaporate for a while
- Put the potato pan back on a very low heat and add the dairy-free spread, mint and seasoning. When the spread has melted, put the potatoes back in the pan and stir them until they are coated in the mint mixture. They can relax in there for a while, to soften the edges. Just remember to stir every now and then
- On a serving plate, put the handful of rocket. Put half the olives and half the avocado on top
- When the potatoes are gently sizzling, take them off the heat and put half of them onto the rocket plate.
- Toss it all together with your hands. Quick, they are after all hot potatoes.
- Arrange the rest of the olives, avocado and the orange decoratively on top of the salad. Add the rest of the potatoes. If there are any left over, eat them later, cold with a sprinkling of salt.
- Dollop some vinaigrette around the salad, and put the rest on the table.
- Have something chilled to drink.