Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Salad Nicoise

Pronounced "knee-swah", this French salad is not your typical light fare. Salad Nicoise is a mixture of tomatoes, green beans, onions, olives, tuna, hard boiled egg and potatoes tossed in a vinaigrette and placed over salad greens. The potatoes, tuna and hard boiled egg give this salad a nice heartiness.

Paired with a little homemade rosemary focaccia and you've got yourself a meal. It's a very easy bread to make - it just takes some time. I used this recipe from Simply Recipes. Use the leftovers for sandwiches by cutting the slices in half, lengthwise. Also, I found that toasting to reheat the focaccia resulted in a crispier product, rather than microwaving, which made it rubbery. Rubbery bread is a no no.

(Eeeek! A camera phone picture!)

Not too long ago, I had this version of salad nicoise at Barnies Coffee Co. in Winter Park, FL and have been meaning to make my own. As you can see, this version leaves out quite a bit of the traditional ingredients, but I really like what they did with it. Placing the greens and tuna on toast was tasty and easy to eat. Not to worry, there were green beans, olives and tomatoes randomly placed throughout, making it a nice little surprise when you bit into one.

To be honest, this salad took a little more prep time than I thought it would, but it was worth it. Just have all your ingredients fully ready and pre cut before assembling the salad.

-Boil your eggs ahead of time and quickly transfer them to an ice bath for rapid cooling and peeling. Then boil your potatoes and blanch the green beans just long enough to enhance their green color. I used the same pot and water for all three, cooking one at time.

-Using canned tuna saves you the time of cooking a tuna steak, but seared tuna would be awfully delicious

-Next, prep your veggies. Slice your tomatoes and onion, and quarter your eggs and potatoes once cooled.

-Arrange your eggs, potatoes and tuna on a bed of greens (I used a mixture of spinach and kale). Toss the beans, tomatoes and onions in the vinaigrette (recipe below) and add to the dish. Lastly, add some olives and capers.

Lemon Vinagrette

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons dijon
Dash salt and pepper


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