Salad Nicoise is one of the dishes that I always enjoy. It is light, but filling. There is a variety of ingredients, so you are not bored when you are half way through eating your salad. My version is classic, except for one ingredient. I replace the steamed green beans with Dilly Beans. You can make your own, or you can purchase pickled beans. The tangy and spicy beans really brighten up the salad.
I don’t eat a lot of tuna, but when I do I like to use really good tuna packed in oil. In this salad, the tuna is lightly dressed so the flavor and texture of good tuna will really come across. After tasting several, I found two favorites: Ortiz and American Pole. I like Ortiz brand best, but it is one of the most expensive ones available. American Pole, is packed and steamed in its own juices, also delicious and less expensive. Both are line caught. I wouldn’t use these brands of tuna in tuna salad when you will just cover up the amazing flavor with mayo or dressing. Warning, after tasting these you won’t want to go back to regular tuna.
• 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
• 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
• 2 small new potatoes, boiled until tender and quartered
• 12 pickled beans (see my Dilly Bean Recipe)
• 6 ounces tuna in olive oil, drained
• 6 anchovy filets
• ¼ cup sliced red onions
• 2 tablespoons capers
• 2 tablespoons Nicoise olives
• 6 butter lettuce leaves, torn in pieces
Assemble the salads. Divide each ingredient between two plates and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Pour one tablespoon of dressing over each of the assembled salads. Serve the rest of the dressing on the side.
• 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• Pinch of sugar
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• ½ cup olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used a mix of chives, parsley, lemon thyme, and oregano
Place the lemon juice, sugar, and Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk. Taste the dressing and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Whisk in the herbs.