I always find it odd when adults say they don’t like salad. Perhaps they just haven’t had any exciting ones? Well this salad has vodka and fire and spicy chorizo and it’s easy to throw together in a pinch, so I would say it’s about as exciting as a salad gets.
What I really like about this salad (apart from the things I just listed) is that the dressing is formed in the pan as you cook, so there is no messing around with vinaigrette or aioli. You can just pour the contents of the pan into the salad, give it a mix, and it’s ready to serve up!
If I’m making this for more than one person I’ll often just toss it all into a big bowl and leave that in the middle of the table for everyone to pick at. As an apprentice, I used to make this salad for myself when I got home from work sometimes and I would just sit in my uniform eating it out of a stainless steel bowl — it saved me a number of times when I forgot to bring home my staff meal!
This recipe does flambé some vodka, which means there is some fire involved. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then omit the vodka and use white wine instead.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
- 200g chorizo sausage
- 120g rocket (arugula)
- Half a cucumber (1 whole lebanese cucumber)
- 5 kipfler potatoes
- 2 large radishes
- 2 yellow peaches or nectarines
- Half bunch fresh basil
- 2 birds eye chillies
- 2 cloves garlic
- 25ml vodka
- Whole lemon (juice)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Non-stick pan
- Chopping Board
Preparing the Ingredients
- Wash your rocket, basil and all of your other vegetables. Kipflers often require a thorough washing (as we’re leaving the skin on) so make sure they don’t have dirt left on them.
- Dice or crush the garlic, slice the radish, cucumber, chorizo and kipfler potatoes to about the same thickness. Take the cheeks off the peaches and then slice them finely. Remove the seeds from the chillies if you don’t like them, otherwise just slice the chilli thinly. For the basil, just pick the leaves off and leave them whole if they are smaller and roughly cut up the bigger leaves.
- Place the rocket, basil, peach and radish into a large bowl and put aside.
Cooking the chorizo and kipflers
- Heat up a non-stick pan with your olive oil. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chorizo and cook for a further minute to start to activate all of the rich fat and flavour it offers.
- Toss the kipflers in and cook on a medium heat until they start to get crispy, rotating the ingredients in the pan often to ensure they are coated by the oil.
- Now we’re going to flambé the vodka. Be careful when you add it in to the pan as the flames can get quite high — this will likely set off your smoke alarm as well, so be prepared!
- Once the alcohol has burned off, add the lemon juice and give the pan a swish to get all the of the flavour off it.
- Add the hot ingredients (and the liquid from the pan) to the bowl with the cold ones in it and, using tongs, mix them all together. Make sure you serve this salad up quickly as the heat from the chorizo and potatoes will wilt the rocket fairly quickly!
Note: If you feel it needs it, you can season the salad slightly before serving. However, I find that the chorizo generally has enough salt in it already and the rocket has a sharp pepperiness already.
Warm salads are great because they are a simple, multi-seasonal dish to have in your back pocket. This particular recipe can be changed to suit the season or just your needs. If you’re a vegan then you could take out the chorizo and put in some grilled tofu instead. You could exchange the kipflers for some roasted Congo potatoes or any sweet potato to add some extra colour. Add some candied walnuts or some pecans for a bit of extra crunch or maybe use spinach or radicchio instead of rocket.
A lot of people seem to think that salads are lettuce, tomato and onion with a bit of oil drizzled ineffectually over the top. They’ve maybe heard of a Waldorf salad and are a little dubious of the nuts and fruit in it — maybe they even scoff at the thought. To these people, I implore you, you will enjoy your salads so much more if you just experiment!
This is good general cooking advice too: don’t get too hung up on what flavours are supposed to go together. Dark chocolate works wonderfully in a jus for venison, vanilla and chicken can play together in the same dish and even a strawberry salad on lobster can be beautiful and refreshing.
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