May 012013
 
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Salade Nicoise

 

 

Admittedly, the worst part of making a Salade Nicoise is the moment when you realise that you need to boil three separate ingredients (potatoes, green beans and eggs) in three separate pots. Don’t let that put you off! Just let that moment of hesitation pass and put the pots of water on to boil. The whole process is much easier and faster than you realise, and the ingredients simmer away while you are busy preparing the rest of the ingredients.

 

Salade Nicoise originates from the French city of Nice by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a robust, salty salad which is delicious as a main course any time of the day. Traditionally, tinned tuna is used but more and more people are beginning to use seared fresh tuna instead. This recipe uses the traditional tinned tuna which is lightly seasoned to mellow out the flavor of the tuna.

 

[Tip: If you don’t want to cook the potatoes, eggs and green beans, have a look in your supermarket’s deli/salad section where they often have pre-cooked potatoes, green beans and eggs.]

 

 

SALADE NICOISE

(Serves 4 as a main course)

 

 

Dressing Ingredients: (makes 3/4 cup)

8 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

 

 

Salad Ingredients:

2 tins of tuna (in oil or brine), drained (total drained weight of the two tins together should be 9oz / 260g)

To season the tuna:

1 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp coarse sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

 

9oz / 260g cherry tomatoes (approximately 12 cherry tomatoes), cut in half

1lb / 450g waxy baby potatoes (approximately 8 baby potatoes)

12oz / 350g french string beans, both ends trimmed off

4 eggs (to be hard-boiled)

1 small red onion (2oz / 50g), halved and thinly sliced

9oz / 250g black olives (preferably Nicoise olives)

2 Tbsp drained capers

8 anchovies in oil (optional)

12oz / 350g Little Gem lettuce (or some other crisp lettuce), cut or torn into bite-size pieces

 

 

Directions:

  1. The first thing you need to do is to cook the potatoes, eggs and green beans. Bring three pots of water to the boil on your stove.
  2. While you are waiting for the water to come to the boil, you can prepare the ingredients. Wash the baby potatoes. Wash and trim the green beans. Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature (to avoid cracking when you submerge them in the boiling water).
  3. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until just tender. Drain and allow to cool. Cut in half or quarters when cool enough to handle.
  4. Boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes (10 minutes for medium eggs, 12 minutes for large eggs). Drain and allow to cool. Peel and cut into quarters.
  5. Boil the green beans for 4-5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  6. Prepare the Dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shaking well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  7. Prepare the tinned tuna by draining the oil from it. Put the tuna into a bowl and season with 1 tsp Extra Virgin olive oil, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.  Mix well with a fork, making sure you flake the tuna evenly while you mix.
  8. Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  9. Wash and slice/tear the lettuce leaves.
  10. Thinly slice the small red onion.
  11. Drain the oil/brine from the black olives, capers and anchovies.
  12. Now it is time to assemble the salad.
  13. Combine the tuna, tomatoes, baby potatoes, green beans, red onion, olives, and capers in a bowl. Toss with half the dressing.
  14. Refrigerate all ingredients until ready to serve.
  15. When ready to serve, dress the lettuce leaves with the remaining dressing and toss.
  16. Place the dressed lettuce leaves on the bottom of the serving plate/bowl you are using. Place the tuna and vegetable mix on top of the lettuce leaves. Arrange the quartered eggs and anchovies on top.
  17. Serve cold.

 

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