One of my favorite lunches is a Nicoise Salad. I think it stems from my teens when my parents used to take us to Europe for two or three weeks during the Summer.
The way we were served a Salade Nicoise in Paris was the way Julia Child described it in her many books. It is a composed salad; by which I mean a salad made up of many ingredients prepared separately and arranged on a platter. Ideally, you will enjoy all the components; but serving it this way also gives the “picky” eaters a chance to take just what they like. Today, many restaurants make this salad with fresh tuna. My personal preference is to use canned dark Italian tuna packed in oil. I also urge you to serve this dish at room temperature and let the flavors really shine. Plastic wrapped, ice cold bowls of salad taken from the fridge just don’t do it justice. You can prepare all the components of this salad a day in advance. Remove them from the fridge, arrange the platter and let the salad come to room temperature before serving.
To this day, whenever I make a Salade Nicoise, I think of those trips and what wonderful family experiences they were.
Prep time: 30 minutes
By May 29, 2014Published:
- 8 Servings
- 2 cups Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds fresh haricots verts or green beans washed and trimmed
- 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes cleaned-not peeled
- 1 small Red Onion minced
- 8 large ripe plum tomatoes (3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes) rinsed
- 4 large eggs
- 24 ounces dark canned tuna packed in oil
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
- 1 large Boston lettuce washed and well dried
- 2 ounces anchovies-drained optional
- medium saucepan with cover
- medium mixing bowl
- large serving platter
- Steam haricots verts/green beans. Drain them in colander. Rinse with a lot of ice cold water, pat dry and set aside.
- Boil potatoes about 10 minutes until they are tender yet firm. Let them cool somewhat before cutting them into quarters and placing them in mixing bowl. Add minced onion to potatoes with 1/3 cup of vinaigrette. Toss gently. Set aside.
- To boil eggs so that they retain a bright yellow yolk: Place eggs in saucepan. Pour enough water over them so they are submerged. Bring to a boil. Cover saucepan and remove from heat. Let eggs steam in the water for 12 minutes. Drain eggs. Rinse them under cold water and peel.
- Choose the most delicious tomatoes available. If Jersey tomatoes are available-use them, and cut them into attractive wedges. Do the same with plum tomatoes if they are running better. Another option is to use a pint of cherry tomatoes on the vine or pear tomatoes. Slice tomatoes and set aside.
- Drain anchovies if you are adding them to salad.
- To assemble salad: Line serving platter with lettuce leaves. Drain oil from tuna and arrange down the center of the platter. Arrange sections of beans, tomatoes and marinated potatoes around tuna. Arrange quartered eggs (and optional anchovies) over the tuna. Scatter olives over the entire salad. Serve remaining Vinaigrette on the side.