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  • Entree-Worthy Salad Nicoise

    Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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    OK, I’m just going to say it.

    I. Love. Salad. I really do. This is a pretty remarkable thing for a girl who used to weigh just 5-pound less than Tom Brady (who, according to the New England Patriots website, weighs in at 225). It’s worth mentioning… I am not 6’4″ tall. 

    A good salad can be a filling, satisfying and delicious meal…especially in the coming warmer months. They are also great canvases for creative inspiration in the kitchen. Stroll through a farmer’s market–just about any veggie you see would probably be yummy in a salad. Another place I find salad inspiration: restaurant menus. As more and more restaurants are striving to accommodate healthier eating preferences, food allergies and just provide more healthy fare in general, the salad section of the menu can be incredibly diverse and intriguing (just be sure to order the dressing on the side :)). 

    One of my all-time favorite salad is the ‘Salad Nicoise’. I seriously love this salad. I actually get excited when I see it on a menu (which is pretty rare). I love it that much. Named for the small, black, shriveled olives that garnish the salad, you are likely to see many interpretations. The most traditional includes aforementioned nicoise olives, high-quality tuna, small potatoes, crisp green beans and hard boiled egg. I have taken some liberty with this recipe: I roasted the potatoes and green beans (they are typically steamed or boiled), used a different olive since I couldn’t find nicoise, omitted the egg and added radish. Once you’ve made it a couple of times, take some liberty. Try swapping the tuna out for sardines or substitute asparagus for the green beans.

    One more note, though Tonno tuna can be spendy (expect to pay around $7 for 4-6 ounces), it’s totally worth it in this dish. Remember, it’s a main course, so don’t skimp if you don’t have to. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, get tuna packed in olive oil. So Good.  

    Salad Nicoise / Nancy Granada

    © 2013 Kindred Kitchen / Nancy Granada



    Entree-Worthy Salad Nicoise

    servings: 2 | time: about 40 minutes

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    For the Dressing: 2 TBSP. Dijon mustard Juice of 1/2 a lemon 1 TBSP. Champagne vinegar 1 tsp. dried herbs de Provence Pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar 4 TBSP. grapeseed oil (use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute if you wish) For the Salad: 3 small waxy or other small, low-starch potatoes (such as fingerling) 2 TBSP. olive oil 1/2 pound fresh green beans 4 large radishes, cut into thin slices 6 cups mixed salad greens 10 large green Italian Castelvetrano olives (I couldn’t find Nicoise) 6 ounces high-quality canned or jarred tuna packed in olive oil (packed in water is also great if you’re trying to save calories and fat)


    Preheat oven to 350

    Make the Dressing:
    1. Mix the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and herbs de Provence in a small bowl

    2. Slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil, whisking as you add to create an emulsion. Set aside while you make the salad

    Make the Salad:
    1. Cut the potatoes into 2-inch pieces. Place in a bowl and drizzle with 1 TBSP. of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, scoop into a bowl and set aside. Keep the pan handy for the green beans

    2. Prepare the green beans by giving them a good rinse and snapping off the tips. Place in a bowl, drizzle with remaining TBSP. of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on the same baking sheet and bake just until tender, about 5 minutes

    3. Rinse the greens well and place in a very large bowl. Whisk the dressing and drizzle a couple of tablespoons over the greens. Toss to coat and place even servings in the bottom of 2 large shallow bowls

    4. You’re ready to assemble the salad: Arrange the potatoes in a neat pile atop one corner of the dressed greens. Do the same with the green beans. Arrange the sliced radishes and olives in the remaining corners of the salad, leaving the center for the tuna. Mound the tuna in the center, drizzle with dressing and serve with crusty bread and more dressing on the side, if needed


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