Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

Produce and eggs fresh from the farmer’s market last weekend sparked my desire to make this beloved salad.  Its roots are in Provence and traditionally is made with tomatoes, anchovies, black olives, capers, French beans and lemon juice. I prefer tuna to anchovies in my version and have opted for the olives but not the capers.  It is slightly labor intensive but so worth the effort for this main dish salad. And, because I don’t use lettuce, leftovers of this dressed salad keep nicely in the fridge for a few days.  This salad is one of the many reasons I don’t want summer to end!  Enjoy!

Salade Nicoise (serves 6)

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1 pound tiny new potatoes, scrubbed

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

2 or 3 medium ripe tomatoes, quartered

2 or 3 baby cucumbers (or 1/2 large English cucumber), sliced

3 scallions, green and white portions sliced

2, 5 ounce cans water-packed albacore tuna, drained

3 eggs, hard cooked and peeled

1/2 cup black olives

Vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons good quality cider vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves. chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oil.  Stir in garlic and parsley.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Steam green beans for 5 minutes or until tender crisp.  Rinse cooked beans immediately under cold water to quickly cool.  When drained and dry, combine beans with the bell pepper and toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette to lightly coat.  Set aside.

Cook potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain and while warm, add a few tablespoons of vinaigrette.  Toss and set aside.

To assemble the salad, use a large platter.  Place potatoes on the platter and top with the beans/peppers.  Flake the tuna on top of the salad and add scallions and olives.  Arrange the cucumbers and tomatoes around the salad and add quartered eggs.  Drizzle the final creation with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette.  Bon Appetit!!

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