Today's recipe is Debrah's version of the delicious Salad Niçoise. I grilled all the veggies on a stove top grill since the temperature outside was 98 degrees and I didn’t feel like sweating over a hot grill. I did not make any substitutions but did grill a fennel bulb alongside the other vegetables. The olives I used are a mix of Arbequina and Aragon Spanish olives that we brought back from Spain last October.
I had a small portion of the salad for lunch - washed down with a glass of Albariño wine - and saved the rest for my husband, who’s arriving tonight.
The recipe below is to serve 2 people but clearly, you can just double it or triple it at will. Anyone who has read recipes I have posted in the past may remember that I am an rather loose in my interpretation of recipes but I hope that this fairly straightforward composed salad is easy to make.
Because I couldn’t decide which dressing is my favourite, I am giving two alternatives, one for a more traditional dressing and one for an Asian Dressing, which I think goes exceedingly well with the Tuna.
2 Tuna Steaks
2 cups Green Beans or asparagus - whichever is freshest (cut in half for presentation purposes)
2 cups cooked Potatoes (sliced, diced or quartered depending upon size)
12 Olives (use your favorite, or a mixture - obviously, nicoise are the classic)
1 Orange or yellow pepper
2 Green Onions
1 cup Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 hard boiled egg (if following classic recipe)
*Optional: spring baby carrots or radishes - scrubbed served whole
Dressing: (should be made up prior to cooking vegies)
Classic: (put all ingredients into a jar, cover and shake)
1/4 Red wine vinegar
2 small or one large shallot (minced finely)
4 T. olive oil (or toasted walnut or hazelnut oil)
½ t. anchovy paste (optional)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 t. whole grain mustard
pinch of thyme
Asian (put all ingredients into a jar, cover and shake)
1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
4 T Sesame Oil
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Ginger - about 1 tablespoon grated
4 T olive oil
Steam or parboil green beans or asparagus until just tender crisp. Put into ice water to stop cooking process.
Cook small potatoes (fingerlings are an idea) whole. Let cool, cut into shape you desire and pour a small amount of dressing on and chill. I roast or grill the peppers and tomatoes (with a small amount of either dressing tossed on) I like to cook the tomatoes until they release their juice and carmelize a bit. (If you are using really fresh flavourful tomatoes, you don’t need to bother!)
Put tuna steaks on the grill, brush with dressing and cook to your preference.
Plating: I like to present it is a composed salad - so each ingredient is given it’s own space on the plate, including the Tuna. Arrange the two plates, dividing up the vegetables, drizzle with dressing and serve.