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Our friend Pesha prepared this salad for a special occasion. Once we tasted it, we knew that we had to have the recipe to share. It is a versatile salad, easily served as a main course or appetizer. Pesha uses fresh tuna, but we suggest that canned tuna in olive oil will work as a substitute.

Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suaz) is essentially a French composed salad, much like an American Cobb salad, made with tuna, green beans, and potatoes. Salad Niçoise hails from Nice, on the Mediterranean Sea, but has been changed a bit to adapt to American tastes. Nicoise salads that are served in America are typically served on a bed of lettuce and include cooked green beans and potatoes. This is one dish where setting up your mise en place (all ingredients chopped and ready to go) will help the salad come together easily and more quickly. This version was adapted from a recipe originally printed in Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer.  

Ingredients


Vinaigrette
1/2 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad
2 grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks* (8 oz each) or 2-3 cans of tuna in olive oil
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/4 pounds total),  scrubbed and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
1 small red onion, sliced very thin
8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
1/4 cup niçoise olives (or black olives)
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)

Directions


*Marinate tuna steaks in a little olive oil for an hour. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, or place on a hot grill. Cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes on each side until  cooked through, but still pink.
Whisk lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano, and mustard in medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring potatoes and 4 quarts cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cook until potatoes are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a medium bowl (do not discard boiling water). Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a large serving platter or in a large bowl. Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices; toss with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato-onion mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange reserved potatoes in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
Return water to boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. Cook until tender but crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, transfer to reserved ice water, and let stand until just cool, about 30 seconds; dry beans well. Toss beans, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using), and serve immediately.

 

Notes

 

 

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