Saturday, 4 February 2012

Flash in the Pan!

Insalata di Portulaca con Patate Americane, Zucchini e Pollo
Purslane Salad with Sweet Potato, Zucchini and Chicken

It's ok- you can look at these images without sunglasses without going blind... I think! Aren't they just wonderful colors though? It seems a crime sometimes the way some people manage to produce and indefinable brown mass out of whatever ingredients they cook up sometimes- especially when nature offers us up such a wonderful palette of colors!

So yes, this is a simple, but simply delightful salad dish. One good handful of Purslane, or any other large-leaf cress, about 2" worth of finely sliced sweet potato, 3-4 " worth of zucchini, a little handful of bacon and a couple of strips of chicken breast and you have a salad lined up for you that is fit for a king!

Slice the sweet potato, (I chose to scrub mine and leave it unpeeled) as thinly as you can, the zucchini a little thicker and then turn the heat on your frying pan up high. Add the bacon, NO extra oil, and the sliced potato and zucchini on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg and allow the potatoes and zucchini to brown in the bacon fat, whilst the bacon becomes crunchy. Keep flipping the potato and zucchini slices so that they all get a chance to lie flat on the center of the pan. You will need to keep your eyes on them!

For a long while it will seem that nothing much is happening, but what IS happening, is that the potatoes and zucchini are giving off and reducing their moisture... and slowly but surely they will become dry, crisp and delicious. I took them out of the pan one by one and let them dry on a separate dish to cool off.

I then put the chicken slices in the pan and began to arrange the potato and zucchini on top of the lettuce. I sprinkled it again with a little of my "Salt of the Earth" mix- which was ground sea salt, pepper, lavender, lemon zest, thyme and rosemary... hmmm! I tossed the chicken, added a little honey, salt, pepper and ginger- and then on to the salad it went!

I light squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of honey and the deed has been done! Hope you enjoy if you give it a try!

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