Monday, May 21, 2012

Salade Niçoise

I've always wanted to go to the French Riviera; Nice, in particular. The beach, the wine, the food... it's my idea of heaven.

Mediterranean food holds a special place in my heart. I especially love food that involves fish, olives (and olive oil) and fresh vegetables. One of my very favorite dishes is Salade Niçoise, a fun, deconstructed salad involving tuna, crudites, olives, hard boiled eggs and vinaigrette. It's such a flexible dish- there are many versions. Some use canned tuna (high quality yellowfin in olive oil is nice) and some use grilled, some have lettuce, and others don't. Some have anchovies. No matter the construction, it's always easy, festive and I think, elegant.

My own version always involves grilled albacore, tomatoes, eggs, olives, green beans and capers. Those are my core ingredients.

For this Salade Niçoise I used:

-grilled albacore (I marinated it in a bit of coconut aminos, brown mustard and balsamic vinegar).
-hard boiled eggs (I boil them for 8 minutes so I don't overcook the yolks).
-grape (or cherry) tomatoes
-sliced fennel bulb (it has a nice crunch and a mild, anise flavor).
-niçoise olives
-blanched french green beans, a.k.a. haricot verts (regular will work, too).
-sliced radishes
-capers (just a sprinkling!)

I used a simple balsamic vinaigrette (similar to this one) to dress the salad.

Voila! Easy and pretty and certainly yummy.