Thursday, June 14, 2012

Salade Niçoise Printemps (Spring Niçoise Salad)

Niçoise salad is one of those dishes given to endless variation. Central to the dish is canned fish--anchovies, tuna or both--with lettuce, tomatoes, hard-cooked eggs, olives and vinaigrette. Fresh green beans, potatoes and red pepper are also common, but certainly cooks have taken it in different directions from there.

For this salad, I wanted to take advantage of seasonal, late spring vegetables I picked up at the farmers market, including asparagus, new potatoes and a juicy beefsteak tomato. I also swapped out the lettuce for some baby arugula.

Salade Niçoise Printemps (Spring Niçoise Salad)

Makes 3 servings

8-10 small new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
8-10 stalks of asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
3 large eggs
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 cup black olives (Niçoise are the obvious choice, but others are fine)
1 tomato, cored and chopped
7-8 oz. tuna packed in olive oil (I used three 2.5 oz packets of yellowfin tuna packed in extra virgin olive oil)

1. Bring a medium saucepan half-filled with water to boil. Add potatoes. After 2-3 minutes, add asparagus and cook for about 5 minutes (you may cook them separately and add additional cooking time for the potatoes if they are larger than about an inch thick). Drain and set aside to cool.

2. Put the eggs in a large (4 qt.) saucepan and cover with 1 inch of cold water. Heat on stove over medium-high heat until the water boils. Immediately remove pan from heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes. Fill a bowl with ice water. Remove eggs from hot water and put in ice water. After 5 minutes, remove from ice water, crack gently against hard surface and peel eggs (use the ice water to rinse off any shell bits). Cut cooked eggs in half.

3. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper to make the dressing.

4. Combine the arugula, bell pepper, olives, tomato, tuna, potatoes and asparagus in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve with a couple halves of hard-cooked eggs.

1 comment:

  1. This was really tasty! I love tuna and this salad really showcased those flavors. Thanks honey.