Sunday, July 15, 2012


Per Merriam-Webster:

: contrary to what one would intuitively expect
— coun·ter·in·tu·i·tive·ly adverb

  1. It may seem counterintuitive, but we do burn calories when we are sleeping.
Here's another example:

It's 100 degrees outside, so it is counterintuitive that I'm advising you to turn on your oven to make a salad.

In short, it ain't logical, but it works.

Warm Roasted Tomato and Potato Salad with Feta
Inspired by the bounty of little tomatoes all around and a stray thought that hot summer days in the Valley are kind of like hot summer days in the Greek Isles*.  The tomatoes become soft and tangy and sweet, almost a like robust fruity dressing for the warm potatoes, and the fresh herbs and cheese add even more bright flavor. Counterintuitively, this oven roasted dish is now my go-to summer salad.

Generous 1 lb. ripe cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 lb. baby fingerling or other little potatoes
1/3 c. olive oil
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. fresh thyme or oregano, or a mix of the two
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. fresh basil, cut into thin strips
a handful of fresh arugula
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 375.  Wash and rinse the tomatoes, cut in half and set aside.  Do the same for the potatoes.  Line two large baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.

Place potatoes into a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil.  Allow to cook for 5 minutes after the water starts boiling, then drain completely and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme/oregano, sugar, salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes, and stir gently until they are completely coated.  Turn onto one of the baking sheets.

Next, add the warm potatoes to the same bowl, and stir gently until those are completely coated.  Turn those onto the other baking sheet.  Hang onto the bowl and any remaining olive oil mixture.

Roast both pans in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly soft and smell amazing, and potatoes are just beginning to crisp up on the edges.   Return the potatoes to the original bowl, then carefully add the tomatoes, along with any juices from the roasting pans.   Toss in the basil, the arugula, and the feta cheese, and stir gently to combine.

Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Click to print this recipe!

* Except without the gorgeous blue Aegean sea, ocean breezes, picturesque whitewashed buildings, or donkeys.

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