Merrill and I are always on the lookout for a new "office." The requirements of our offices are that they have wifi, good food, little or no music and chairs with cushions (for hours of sitting) -- a combination that's surprisingly difficult to find on the otherwise swell island of Manhattan.
Recently, we struck gold at Morandi, a Keith McNally joint, that has, in addition to all the above requirements, good subway access and the occasional fascinating-yet-worrisome celebrity sighting (Calvin Klein last week, Dwayne Johnson a few weeks earlier).
Morandi also has exceptional food -- a breakfast pizza topped with eggs and lardo, olives ascolane (arielleclementine we've sampled these in your honor -- theirs are stuffed with pork), and farro salad (Merrill's fave). The other day, I couldn't resist the "meat salad" -- which was just that, a whole mess of meats (beef, chicken, salumi, pate) with some peppery watercress and sweet potato slipped in and tossed with a creamy, rich dressing. I should have ordered a glass of red wine to go with it and then retired to my apartment for a nap. But no -- we had internet-ing to do!
I've since come up with my own version, which isn't quite as rich, using slightly different means to get to the same end: an all-in-one salad. Make this when you have leftovers of lamb or chicken, or mix it up and use whatever meats you have on hand.
Serves 2 as a main course
- Five to six 1/2-inch slices baguette
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups watercress (broken into small stems)
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 2 cups cubed cooked lamb and chicken, and thinly sliced salumi (I'd do 1 cup lamb, 1/2 cup each chicken and salumi)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Grated zest of 1 tangerine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the oven to 400 degees. Make the croutons: rub the baguette slices with the garlic clove, then cut the slices into 1/2-inch cubes. Measure out 2 cups. (Eat the rest while you prepare the salad.) Spread on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Toast the croutons in the oven until golden, tossing once, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
2. In a large salad bowl, combine the watercress, celery, meats and croutons.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, heavy cream, horseradish, lemon juice and tangerine zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and feel free to add more lemon juice and horseradish as desired).
4. Pour the dressing over the watercress and meats and toss until lightly dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.