Naples is everything that you want it to be: imagine crumbling walls plastered with dusty images of Maradona and Sophia Lauren juxtaposed with billowing lines of washing. Everything is slightly chaotic and the air is thick with the aromas of sea, baking bread, melting cheese, ripe peaches, church incense and Vespas. Neapolitan cuisine matches the mood, it’s Italian in essence with a punchy lick of fire and salty swagger. This beautiful vegan salad is loosely based on the classic ‘spaghetti alla puttanesca’ except, this time, I’ve replaced the pasta with salty roasted potatoes making it the perfect choice for these early days of spring.
1kg new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
500g cherry tomatoes, quartered
400g tin can borlotti beans, drained
150g pitted black olives, halved
1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
How I make it
Preheat an oven to 200˚C.
Place the potatoes on a large baking tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice, season generously with sea salt and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until they’re golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, gently combine the borlotti beans, tomatoes, olives, capers, chilli flakes, balsamic vinegar and 3tbsp olive oil. Season to your taste.
When the potatoes are cooked. Allow them to cool for around 10 minutes and add to the tomato mixture. Tumble everything into a bowl, garnish with basil leaves and the lemon zest.