The last week of the month is always hectic for me. At the end of this one I wanted a yummy, healthy meal that could be dinner one night and lunch the next. After pondering several choices I decided on salad nicoise – I haven’t made this in years, but a friend recently gave me this recipe and I thought I’d try it. If you chill the dressing overnight it tastes even better. The olives are key! Really good Mediterranean ones. And the tuna must be oil packed for the yum factor.
SALAD NIÇOISE, AMERICAN STYLE
Adapted from the The Silver Palate Cookbook
8 small red potatoes, cooked in salted water until tender but not mushy
2 lbs green beans, trimmed, blanched in boiling water until bright green but still crispy
10 Italian plum tomatoes, quartered (I used the grape tomatoes)
1 small purple onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup olives (I used Kalamata olives)
pinch of salt
1 tsp pepper
3/4 cup dressing (recipes follows)
6 hard boiled eggs, quartered
12 oz oil packed, white tuna
2 oz anchovy fillets (can be omitted, for anchovy-phobes)
Assemble all ingredients, except eggs and tuna, in a large bowl or on a serving platter.
1 tbs dijon mustard
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar (don't omit)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley (don't omit, it makes a difference).
Whisk the mustard and vinegar until smooth. Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking steadily until it thickens and emusifies (I stop adding oil as soon as it thickens, as I like my dressing on the sour side). Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix to blend. Incorporate chopped parsley.
Gently toss the salad ingredients to mix. Pour almost all of the dressing over, toss to blend. Arrange the eggs around the outside of the dish, the tuna in the center, and drizzle the remaining dressing over the tuna and eggs, making sure to moisten each yolk. Top with additional chopped parsley.
Serve chilled, with french bread for sopping up any extra dressing. Preferably al fresco, during a late spring or summer evening.