electronic Gourmet Guide

Warm Salad
with Potatoes and Bacon

by Dr. Joe LaVilla


Combine the vinegar, oil, onion and garlic. Set aside. Clean the greens (wash, remove tough stems). Choose two or three varieties of greens to sauté. Heat a sautépan over medium high heat. Add the diced bacon and allow to render and become crisp. Add the two or three varieties of sturdy greens. Add approximately 4 oz. Of the reserved vinaigrette. Sauté the greens until they begin to wilt. Add the quartered potatoes and continue to sauté. Add the arugula and watercress, toss a couple of times to warm and coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some crusty bread.

A great variation of this is to add fried calamari, crumbled goat cheese or white beans in place of the potato.


Potato, Chevre and Beet Tart
with Tomato Oil

by Dr. Joe LaVilla

Tomato Oil

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over low heat at a bare simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slowly. Strain the tomato residue from the oil. Store the oil in the refrigerator, but allow to come to room temperature for use.


Peel the potatoes and slice about 1/4" thick. Boil in salted water about 2-3 minutes, until they just begin to soften.

Allow the goat cheese to come to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped herbs and combine.

Roast the beets in a 350F degree oven until soft to the touch, about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Allow to cool to room temperature and slice 1/4" thick.

Fan the potato slices on a baking sheet, making four 3-inch circles. Make sure that the entire circle is potato. Divide the goat cheese among the 4 potato circles, spreading out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Fan the slices of beets around the perimeter of the goat cheese.

Bake the tarts in a 350F degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes (just enough to finish cooking the potatoes). Place one tart on a plate, drizzle with the tomato oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Organic Farming

About the Author

Joe LaVilla originally hails from Rochester, in western New York State. Deciding to forgo his love of food, Joe pursued a degree in chemistry from Cornell University. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Univ. Of Rochester, he gave in to the inevitable and returned to his culinary calling. A graduate with honors of the Culinary Institute of America, Joe has worked in Manhattan, Washington, D.C. And at Spago in Las Vegas before settling in Phoenix, where he is currently working in off-premise catering. His excellent article "The Nuances of Cooking with Wine: Answers to Common Questions" appeared in the November 1997 issue of The electronic Gourmet Guide.

This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

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This page modified February 2007