Polpette of Potato with Avocado, Red Onion and Cucumber Salad

Polpette of Potato with Avocado, Red Onion and Cucumber Salad

Michael Chiarello
Real American Restaurants
Sausalito, Calif.

Yield: 4 servings

This recipe is a personal favorite of Chef Michael Chiarello.



  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Cover potatoes in large pot with salted water. Bring to boil over high heat; cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well; scatter on a baking sheet; let cool several minutes and place in oven to dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool. Put through ricer or large holes of box grater.
  3. Put dried potatoes in bowl; season with salt and pepper. While potatoes are in oven, cut onion into quarters, slice thinly for 1"-long pieces. Place in non-reactive bowl with vinegar and oregano; let stand 15 minutes. Divide potatoes into 8, 2-oz. balls. Pick up one in palm of hand, top with 1/2-oz. cheese and cover with second potato ball. Press and shape potato around cheese to form cake. (May be prepared ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated up to 1 day prior to cooking.)
  4. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat, or in electric frying pan set at 350°F. Cook polpette until brown and crispy on both sides, about 20 minutes. While polpettes are cooking, make salad.
  5. Whisk remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste into onion-vinegar mixture. Add cucumber, avocados and tomato; toss well. Arrange a nest of lettuce on each of 4 plates. Spoon salad over each nest and top with a polpette. Spoon additional dressing over all.