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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