Salad Niçoise

6113_SaladNicoise_1

I love salads – salads for lunch, salads on the side, big dinner salads. Ever since we had children our main dish salad nights have tapered off. I’m also not a fan of cooking two meals for a family of four. However, salad Niçoise is very compatible for the whole family. I do this by separating out the ingredients for my children that don’t eat big plates of lettuce – yet. I used the old muffin tin bento box presentation for my son and he loved eating his olives, tomatoes and tuna.   Even the 5 little lettuce leaves disappeared. While my husband and I enjoyed our salads with a glass of wine, I glowed as my son polished through his food.  He even stopped to compliment me on my cooking. Yes, he earned his dessert that night.

I use to use Julia Child’s dressing, but it calls for vinegar and dried mustard. I now prefer the lemon juice in the America’s Test Kitchen’s dressing because it pairs better with the tuna fish. Speaking of tuna, in a luxurious world without kids begging for food at 5:05pm, I’d have a perfectly seared piece of tuna on top. So in all practicalness, I use canned tuna. Which kind is important and skimping will stink up your meal. I love Kirkland’s best Albacore. If you’re not a Costco member pick out an solid white tuna sold in a pouch or packed in olive oil.

Another shortcut I take is to use bagged lettuce. Bibb or Boston lettuce is the appropriately French way to make this salad, but if you prefer another or have a garden crop like we did, use that. Fresh is best! Green beans in bags are common in most stores now. You can eliminate one step of boiling by using  a microwaveable bag. If you don’t, remove potatoes when they’re done cooking with a slotted spoon and then bring the salted water up to a boil again. Add beans and cook for 4 minutes until tender yet crisp.

 

Dressing
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes (about 5 medium) scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
salt
1 pound green beans  (I use Trader Joe’s skinny green beans that cook in the bag in the microwave)
2 heads Bibb lettuce torn into bite size pieces (it’s not tragic if you need to use your favorite bag o’lettuce)
14 oz of canned or foil pouch tuna
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives

 

  6113_SaladNicoiseDressing

1. For dressing: shake all ingredients in a jar.

2. Bring 4 quarts of water, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer until tender, about 8 mins. Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Set aside some plain potatoes for your children. Then combine the rest with 1/4 cup of dressing and set aside to cool. Adding the dressing while the potatoes are hot helps them to absorb the flavors of the dressing.

3. Microwave bag o’beans for the lesser amount that they give in the range. The trader Joe bag says 3-4 minutes. I did 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4. Separate out the amount of tuna you want for your kids. Mix it with a tablespoon or two of mayo and relish. Mix remaining amount of tuna with 1/4 cup dressing.

5. Toss lettuce with a couple tablespoons of dressing. Arrange in a bed on individual plates and assemble potatoes, beans, and tuna on top. Garnish with tomatoes, eggs, and olives. Then drizzle a few more spoons of dressing on top.

 

6113_SaladNicoiseforKids

 

 

 

Salad Niçoise
 
Salad Nicoise
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Dressing
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ pounds red potatoes (about 5 medium) scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 2 heads Bibb lettuce torn into bite size pieces
  • 14 oz of canned or foil pouch tuna
  • 
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup Niçoise or Kalamata olives
Instructions
  1. For dressing: shake all ingredients in a jar.
  2. Bring 4 quarts of water, potatoes, and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer until tender, about 8 mins. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Set aside some plain potatoes for your children. Then combine the rest with ¼ cup of dressing and set aside to cool. Adding the dressing while the potatoes are hot helps them to absorb the flavors of the dressing.
  3. Microwave bag o'beans for the lesser amount that they give in the range. The trader Joe bag says 3-4 minutes. I did 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Separate out the amount of tuna you want for your kids. Mix it with a tablespoon or two of mayo and relish. Mix remaining amount of tuna with ¼ cup dressing.
  5. Toss lettuce with a couple tablespoons of dressing. Arrange in a bed on individual plates and assemble potatoes, beans, and tuna on top. Garnish with tomatoes, eggs, and olives. Then drizzle a few more spoons of dressing on top.

 

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