Sausage, Peppers, & Potato (& Arugula) Salad

I’d be lying if I said that I can eat with impunity the way that I used to be able to eat.  Despite running every day, despite taking strength & conditioning classes with some of the best trainers around, despite all of that– nowadays I need to be more mindful of what I eat or I feel it. Heck, folks, I am 40.  And I just do not feel good when I don’t eat well. Does this stop me from dining at my favorite local bar and eating a burger and wings? Heck, no.  But, I am always on the lookout for ideas that incorporate some of my favorite foods with a lighter and healthier spin.  I came across one recently on (no surprise!) Smitten Kitchen.  Deb Perelmen had stumbled upon it elsewhere and adapted it.  I stumbled upon her adaptation and adapted it. And so it goes.

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Deb’s is a sheet pan meal with just sausage, shallots, and potatoes tossed with arugula and finished with a squeeze of lemon.  Mine is also a sheet pan meal, though I think you can make it on the grill during the hotter months (see my note below), which I wished I’d done today when the temperature soared to the mid 80’s.   Also, mine, in an ode to the sausage, peppers, and potatoes I grew up on, adds red and orange peppers– tossing them at the end with arugula and radicchio and finishing it all off with a Dijon dressing because, well sausage and mustard, right?  Also, I substitute some sweet and some spicy chicken sausage for pork sausage.  My husband didn’t even notice because, well, the results are fabulous.  You almost don’t miss the Italian bread where you’d traditionally find this combo. Almost.

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What You’ll Need: (Serves two, who like to eat seconds and have some leftovers)

  • 4 links of chicken sausage (sweet or hot or both), cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 8 shallots, halved and outer layer removed
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced into chunks
  • 1 large orange pepper, sliced into chunks
  • 1 small bag of fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 4 large handfuls of baby arugula
  • 1/2 head of radichhio, sliced into ribbons
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or grated

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What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  On a large baking sheet toss the shallots, the potatoes, and the peppers with olive oil, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes (according to your heat preference). Place the sheet in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, adding the sausage pieces and tossing again. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile toss the arugula with the radicchio and make the dressing by mixing approximately 1/4 cup of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and the pressed garlic.
  4. Toss all of the ingredients together and serve.

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Note: I think you can make this just as easily on a grill.  I’d toss the potatoes, the peppers, and the shallots with some olive oil, salt, pepper and pepper flakes inside a foil grilling bag.  While that grills, I’d grill the sausage separately. Then toss them as I do above with the remainder of the salad ingredients.  I, for one, intend to try this method soon, and I will let you know how it goes!

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