Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Take on Niçoise Salad



Now that spring is upon us, I'm trying to work out daily. Because I'm not a morning person, I tend to exercise after work. Rather than coming home from the office and hacking up stuff with my knives, I'm swinging around my kettlebells. That means getting into and out of the kitchen a bit later, which is usually okay with me. However, some annoying workdays call for easy nights in the kitchen. Niçoise salad is a perfect, satisfying meal that provides protein, veggies, carbs, and good fats with very minimal effort.

There are a gazillion niçoise salad or salade niçoise recipes out there, and I'm not purporting to follow the traditional standards. For one, Hubby hates olives, so I leave them out of the salad. I've read that potatoes are not traditional, but I use them anyway. And, canned tuna definitely isn't traditional. It sure is easy, though.

In my salad, I substitute a mixture of baby greens and herbs for lettuce and spicy pickled green beans for blanched green beans.

In addition to freeforming the salad, I winged it on my vinaigrette, too. This time, I mixed Penzey's Country French salad seasoning with balsamic vinegar, a smidge of flaxseed oil, and a little agave nectar to take the edge off of the vinegar.

I added a nice cabernet and, along with the salad, it was a perfect ending to a busy day.

Freeform Salad Nicoise
assorted salad greens, washed and dried
assorted herbs (dill, chervil, parsley, thyme), washed and dried
lemon wedge
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
canned tuna in water, drained
baby red potatoes, boiled
eggs, hard boiled and quartered
grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
spicy pickled green beans, halved
vinaigrette of your choice

1) Toss the salad greens with the herbs, squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Place onto a serving dish.
2) Place the tuna, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, and pickled green beans atop the salad.
3) Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and serve.

4 red beans:

Geggie said...

Oh, I love a nicose salad. I was actually out to dinner last night and an acquantaince at the table orderd the "Nick-oise" salad. It ryhmed with turquoise. I died a little inside, but what can you do.

Gumbeaux Gal said...

OMG, Geggie!! I am dying laughing!

I served this salad to Hubby and, first off, he denied ever having eaten it before. (Not true! I've made it for him at least once before and have the photos to prove it!) :P

He loved it, but asked me, "What can I call this salad?" I pronounced 'nicoise' for him and he said, "No. I can't call it that."

I imagine it sounded far too French and frou-frou for him!

Like you said, what can you do? :)

Nina Timm said...

My alltime favorite salad - especially with fresh tuna and a runny poached egg.

Gumbeaux Gal said...

Nina, I LOVE my boiled eggs runny! Never thought to put one on my nicoise salad, though.

I agree that this salad is always better with fresh tuna!

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