salad nicoise

Heather's looking for ways to play with fish (as food, damnit!), and asked if i had a favorite salad nicoise recipe. And guess what! I do. 8) As with many of my faves, this is an Alice Waters recipe, adapted from Chez Panisse Menus. This is good enough to be a main course; it's especially nice in the hot summer months. To dress it up a bit for the Bornschlegel Family Vacation last summer i prefaced it with Mimi's tomato bisque and tiny grilled cheese sandwiches.

serves 6

1.5 lb fresh tuna steak
[she says to rub with veggies and oil and bake. i prefer to pan sear or grill my fish. I've been known to sub in good quality Italian canned tuna in a pinch]

the garlic vinaigrette:
2-3 cloves very fresh garlic
1 c virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 c flavorful red wine vinegar
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Crush garlic with a tsp of olive oil. mix paste with 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, and the rest of the olive oil. add 2 tbsp capers and season it with salt and pepper and more vinegar if necessary.

the veggies and accompaniments
(choose only the best of the following)
1/4 lb haricots verts
1/2 lb tiny new potatoes
1/3 lb shelled fava beans
3-4 artichokes and 1 lemon
1 red pepper
6-8 anchovy fillets
4 hard cooked eggs
1/2 red onion
12-15 chervil sprigs
3-4 ripe summer tomatoes
1/4-1/3 c nicoise olives

Top & tail beans. Blanch fava beans, blanch green bean 2-3 minutes, rinse under cold water. Boil potatoes until they are just done. Remove, drain, and let cool to room temp. Wash and seed red pepper and cut into thin slices. Toss the pepper in a little vinaigrette, toss the green beans in some vinaigrette. Quarter the potatoes and toss them in some vinaigrette, too.

To compose:
Rinse the anchovies well and cut filets in half, lengthwise. The 4 eggs should be boiled just long enough so that the yolk is still a little soft and bright orange. Slice 1/2 red onion in paper thin slices. Toss 12-15 chervil sprigs with the artichoke hearts. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and toss them with a little viniagrette.

Arrange them in groups. Toss the tuna with some vinaigrette and put it in the center of the salad. Arrange the rest on the salad, and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Posted by shock on February 21, 2003 | TrackBack
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