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Dining In

Recipe: Classic Nicoise Salad

One can never go wrong with a classic like Tuna Nicoise Salad, originated in the south of France. If you’ve never had it before, you are in for a treat. But be sure to get good quality tuna fish, or for an American twist, substitute with grilled or roasted fresh tuna. This salad is meant to be composed on a platter or plate (not tossed), then lightly dressed with a delicious vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. red-skinned potatoes, sliced ⅓-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 10 oz. haricots verts or thin green beans, trimmed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cherry tomatoes or small cocktail tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated
  • 6 radishes, trimmed, quartered
  • 2 cans or jars of Italian or Spanish tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • ½ cup pitted nicoise olives

Recipe

  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over med.-high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl; drizzle with the wine and let cool. Reserve the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a separate saucepan of salt water to a boil. Fill a bowl with salted ice water. Add the haricots verts to the boiling water; cook until crisp-tender and bright green, 2-4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water to cool; drain and pat dry.
  3. Place the eggs in the reserved saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1-inch. Bring to a simmer over med.-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand 10-12 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water to cool. Peel under cold running water.
  4. To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.
  5. Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with salt and pepper, to taste. Add about ¼ cup dressing to the potatoes and toss. Quarter the hard-cooked eggs.
  6. Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Arrange the potatoes, haricots verts, radishes, hard-cooked eggs and tuna on top. Pour any juices from the tomatoes into the dressing, then add the tomatoes to the plates.Lightly drizzle with the dressing then top with the olives. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food Network Kitchen, from Food Network Magazine

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature, she is one of the Dining Divas. Barbara is a longtime member of the International Association of Culinary professionals (IACP). She is also a community volunteer, serving on the board of directors for City House, a nonprofit that shelters abused children and runaway homeless youth. And she is a member of the hospitality committee for the Plano Symphony Orchestra Guild.


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