roasted asparagus & baby red potato salad

This stunning salad is so easy but packed with flavour – the wee red spuds are roasted with garlic, and the asparagus at the end of cooking. They are tossed while still warm with peppery rocket and sweet, ripe baby tomatoes then topped with a little sharp crunch from the red onion and a delicious vinaigrette. This works amazingly with the chicken wrapped in pancetta and sage, cooked on creamy fennel (see next recipe), but would also be bloody brilliant along side simply cooked fish or beef. I know it sounds super simple (and it is) but the flavours are magic together!

dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cider or white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

12 baby red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil 5 cloves peeled garlic
12-18 asparagus spears (or green beans if preferred), ends trimmed
12 small red tomatoes, thickly sliced or halved
5 cups wild rocket
¼ small red onion, finely sliced

For the dressing whisk all of the ingredients together, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and store in a sealed container until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Halve the bigger potatoes and leave the tiny ones whole. Put them in a roasting dish and drizzle with olive oil and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lightly squash the garlic cloves with the heel of your palm and tuck around the potatoes. Cook for 25 minutes then increase the temperature to 200˚C and cook a further 5 minutes. Add the asparagus to the potatoes and swirl around a bit with some tongs so that the asparagus becomes coated lightly with oil then roast together for a further 5 minutes. Layer the rocket onto a serving plate with the potatoes, asparagus, garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing and top with a little finely sliced red onion to serve.

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