Salad Nicoise makes a perfect lunch or dinner during the hot days of summer. Traditionally done with tuna, it can also be made with grilled chicken, salmon, or as a vegetarian dish featuring the “caviar” of legumes: du Puis Lentils. These individually plated salads are constructions of a variety of flavors, colors, and textures: a satisfying summer repast.
Summer Salad Nicoise – Serves 4
12 oz. tuna (one large can, or 2 small steaks, seared on the grill) If using canned, pay attention to sustainability and packaging.
3-4 hard boiled eggs cut into wedges so each serving gets 3-5 (Everything in moderation – divi up 2 eggs if cholesterol is an issue.)
20-28 cherry or grape tomatos, halved
4 cups loosely packed mixed baby greens
20 green beans, steamed and cooled
1 medium yellow or red potato (7-8 oz.), cooked, cooled, and quartered
1 avocado, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup tiny capers, plus a little juice
1/2 cup green or black olives
1/4 teaspoon Hondashi
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
2 teaspoon good quality white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon caper juice
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, dill or cilantro
1/2 cup of your favorite savory vinaigrette – it shouldn’t be overly sweet
1. Combine the caper juice, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, Hondashi, and ground pepper in a bowl; whisk to blend. Add the tuna, and gently toss to coat.
2. Evenly divide the lettuces amongst 4 (pasta) plates, leaving a bit of a well in the center.
3. Fill each (well) with a quarter portion of cooked lentils.
4. In a (pin-wheel), evenly place the beans, avocado, and wedges of potato and egg around the lentils.
5. Place a quarter portion of tuna over the lentils in the center of each plate. Evenly scatter the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and drizzle 1 tablespoon of dressing over the top of each salad. Offer the rest of the dressing from a small pitcher at the table.
We recommend enjoying this with Dilly Cheddar Biscuits