Friday, May 13, 2011

Tantalizing Thursday: Salad Nicoise

This is a repost as Blogger seems to have lost it. Thank you for your patience! Enjoy!!


Welcome back to Tantalizing Thursday on Chief 187 Chatter. After a two-week departure from the culinary aspect of this feature, we are returning to its roots and offering a scrumptious recipe today. With spring in full form and summer around the corner, lighter meals with fresh ingredients are the order of the day and enhance a healthy lifestyle. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this fare is colorful, delicious, healthful, and simply divine.

Salad Nicoise
Recipe by Julia Child

For salad:
1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 "boiling" potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked
Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets, optional (but highly recommended by Chief 187)
1/3 cup small black Ni├žoise-type olives
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
For Vinaigrette:
1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper
Make vinaigrette: Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar, or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.
Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper.
Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.
Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals. Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each if using.
Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.
Serves 6.

This recipe should be used as a guide and tweaked to fit your taste. Julia Child had wonderful ideas, enjoyed French preparations, and had time to cook. If your schedule is jam-packed like mine, take some help with bagged lettuce that is pre-washed and simply drizzle the finished salad with your own oil and vinegar instead of making the vinaigrette. Take help with convenience food at the supermarket if you don’t have your eggs hard-boiled yet or you don’t want to deal with “cooking and refreshing” your green beans. Do open the tuna, buy some delicious olives, whatever the type, and find the anchovies; they make the meal! Serve with a crusty baguette and a light refreshment (white or sparkling wine or water).

Enjoy the recipe, the warmer temperatures, and the healthier lifestyle. After this meal, take a walk and enjoy the changes happening all around. For dessert, try an all-natural frozen fruit pop, either homemade or store-bought. Let me know if you used this one and please feel free to leave your own favorite spring/summer recipe favorite.

Please return tomorrow for the week-ending Friday Music Blog!

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