Salade Niçoise...sophisticated simplicity

Let me begin by saying, I am not a fan of making my own salads. When I go to a restaurant, the one thing I invariably order is a salad because, again, I hate making them for myself. However, this salad I could do again and again, it was that simple.  

As usual, I researched this posh sounding little salad thoroughly before putting my spin on it. I thought there was a set formula to this salad; there is, but nothing is ever set in stone.

A traditional salade Niçoise is an all raw ingredients little dish except for the hard-boiled eggs. That said, most recipes I have found include steamed green beans and boiled baby potatoes.

My version of this French little lady goes as follows.

Ingredients to be layered in the following order

  • Bed of baby spinach (because I LOVE baby spinach)

  • 5 large hard-boiled eggs, halved (boil the eggs for exactly 10 minutes for egg perfection)

  • A handful of fine green beans, blanched

  • A small bushel of cherry tomatoes, halved or not

  • A cup of pitted Kalamata olives, because my hubby loves Kalamata (traditionally you would add Niçoise olives)

  • Approximately 8 baby potatoes, boiled until tender and sliced

  • A jar of marinated artichoke hearts (found some that came from Peru… BONUS!)

  • 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper julienned

  • 2 fresh tuna steaks, coated with EVOO and seasoned with salt & pepper then pan fried for 2 minutes on each side (they are supposed to be raw pink on the inside like sushi – I thought mine were fresh from the fish monger but once I got home I realized the dude must have sliced me some frozen tuna …did not cook quite right but TASTY just the same)

  • Anchovies (which never made it to the salad because I forgot )

For the dressing I found an olive oil based dressing that goes like this:

  • 1/3 cup of EVOO

  • The juice of 2 limes (because I prefer them over lemons)

  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard

  • Salt & pepper to taste

Hubby LOVED the dressing …I did not …I very much dislike EVOO so I pulled out my little mason jar of homemade honey mustard vinaigrette (see my blog post: The little black dress of salads for the recipe)

The salad looked divine and was a big hit, especially with my daughter; she was all over the tuna and the olives!

NOTE:  It is perfectly acceptable to make this salad with canned tuna and considerably cheaper. I bought fresh tuna only because I had never cooked it before and I was up for a challenge.

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