Morandi, a Keith McNally joint that Merrill and I have been using as our "office" of late, has exceptional food. 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. —Amanda Hesser
2 as a main course
Five to six 1/2-inch slices baguette
garlic clove, peeled
watercress (broken into small stems)
thinly sliced celery
cubed cooked lamb and chicken, and thinly sliced salumi (I'd do 1 cup lamb, 1/2 cup each chicken and salumi)
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.
In a large salad bowl, combine the watercress, celery, meats and croutons.
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).
Pour the dressing over the watercress and meats and toss until lightly dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.