One of my favourite cold-weather meal formats is a big hunk of roasted meat, served with a starchy side and some sort of green or fresh plant matter. I usually have leftovers of the roasted meat, which I almost never reheat, because I cooked it perfectly the first time, damn it. (Could I reheat using my precision cooker? Yes, but that takes some time and I rarely think to start cooking before I am extremely hungry.)
The highest calling for leftover roasted meat is a salad, actually. Repackaging some lamb, beef, or pork with a pile of leaves will make you feel virtuous.
It’s not as simple as slicing it up and tossing it with plant parts—of course it’s not—but it’s also not much more difficult. To render an old roast into a truly terrific salad protein, you just need a little oil and a little salt.
The oil is especially important, particularly if your roast has been in the fridge for a bit, or if you’re working with a drier, leftover portion. Just slice your roasted meat as thin as you can, drizzle on just enough oil to lightly coat the slices, and give it a little massage to wake it up. Not only does this restore lustre to dry spots, it helps loosen up any fatty portions of the roast. (If I remember one thing from organic chemistry, it’s that like dissolves like.) Sprinkle on some salt, and maybe a little pepper, or any other seasonings you have lying around, and set the meat aside while you prep the rest of the salad.
The remaining ingredients are up to you—I usually use this opportunity to clean out my fridge—but I find a funky blue cheese, a shallot (or super-thinly sliced onion), and some sort of fruit (apple, berry, or stone fruit), to be a winning combination. Toss with a simple vinaigrette, consume, and repeat all summer long.
This story has been updated since its original publication