“No Holds Barred” Salade Niçoise

By Jackie DeKnock  , , ,   

August 20, 2015

Of all salads, the Niçoise is my all-time favorite, with its fresh butter-lettuce; its carefully cooked, beautiful green beans; its colorful contrast of halved hard-boiled eggs, ripe red tomatoes, and black olives; all fortified by chunks of tuna and freshly opened anchovies.

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  • Yields: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Vinaigrette:

Garlic clove (omit if you want to as you’re steppin’ out tonight)

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon dry mustard or 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Dry basil or fresh basil, finely sliced to tasted

Salad:

1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried

1 pound green beans, blanched and chilled

3 or 4 "boiling" potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked

1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots (your call as you’re going out)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons white wine

3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)

Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved

1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets (your call)

1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives

2 to 3 tablespoons capers

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Method

Vinaigrette:

Finely chop and then mince garlic clove. Add salt and make a puree on your chopping board (or just use a handy garlic press). Mix with red wine vinegar, lemon juice, dry mustard and freshly ground black pepper. Beat well, then whisk in olive oil – add slowly and whisk entire time. Add dry or fresh basil to taste.

Salad:

Prep lettuce and blanch beans.

Boil potatoes in their skins in a steamer, approximately 20 minutes 20 Minutes for medium-sized potatoes. Slice while still warm and place in a bowl. Finely dice shallot and add to potatoes. Season with salt/pepper, add white wine, followed by 1 tablespoon water and let them sit to absorb the liquid (pour off excess). Add vinaigrette dressing, gently mix and set aside.

Assemble your salad – Julia Child style;

Tip: You should season each item before adding to the salad so that you don’t have to mix it!

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter and season with vinaigrette.

Place the potatoes in the centre of the platter.

Arrange tomatoes in ‘small groups’ around the outside of lettuce, add vinaigrette and salt slightly.

Mix beans with dressing at the last minute and place in 4 mounds around the lettuce beside the tomatoes.

Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each. Spoon tuna over potatoes, scatter on olives, capers, garnish with parsley and serve.

PS If you do decide to indulge and include the shallots, eat parley before you head out the door to find Mr. Right!


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