On Sunday, I received an early birthday gift from Mike. Not just any gift…but one that he knew would mean a whole lot to me. I got a new bicycle. A really nice bicycle. As much as it's meaningful in that we'll be able to spend time together outside and I'll be able to commute to the local market without hopping in the car, it's meaningful in an entirely different way: I've never ridden a bicycle before.
I grew up inside drawing, painting and studying. My folks (my dad in particular) never had the patience to teach me how…so it fell to the wayside. I don't blame them for it – I got to be good at lots of other things because of how I was raised. Still, I'm now faced with learning how to ride a bicycle as an-almost thirty-_______ year old person…and I'm going to be perfectly honest: it scares the be-jeezus out of me. The bruises on my legs from our quick feet-on-the-ground "walk but pretend you're riding" session on Sunday are a reminder of how it made me feel more than a bit humiliated, uncoordinated, and – well – old. That having been said, I'm determined to learn how and love it…without killing myself, my relationship or anyone else in the process.
One thing I do know how to do is cook potatoes. I put this together the other night of stuff lying around the loft. You can pop the potatoes in the oven for 30 or so minutes and work on something else in the meantime. Tossing the potatoes in the vinaigrette just as they're out of the oven means that they'll soak up all the delicious dressing – that's why the dish looks naked in the photo. Trust me, it's not. While I added some arugula and capers, feel free to improvise this. Toasted pine nuts, parsley, rough chopped herbs – it's really a blank canvas.
Warm Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad – serves 4 as a side
– Preheat oven to 375. Place halved potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. This should take between 30-40 minutes depending on your oven – it's about 35 in mine. You want the potatoes crisp but not brown/hard outside.
– In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Set aside until potatoes are done roasting.
– When they potatoes are done, quickly toss them in the vinaigrette you've made. Toss gently to coat thoroughly. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes to absorb all the flavors. Throw in capers and then salt & pepper to taste. Right before serving, add your handful (about 1 cup) of arugula and mix thoroughly. This is delicious warm but could also be served at room temperature – just add the arugula before you serve so it doesn't get mushy or wilted.