Salade Niçoise: The Perfect Hearty Meal When All You Want Is Salad
Here's what you'll need from Central Market:
Dijon and shallot dressing served on the side.
1 bunch salad greens (I used arugula because it's my favorite)
1 head of garlic
1 jar niçoise olives
1 jar or can anchovies
1 can tuna in oil
4 hard-boiled eggs from the salad bar
1 small container of roasted rosemary potatoes
1 small container of green beans
First, make the dressing. Mince the shallot and one clove of garlic, then combine with the juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup olive oil, a generous squirt or dollop of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until blended and let sit.
Next, assemble the salad. Since the three ingredients that generally require cooking -- eggs, potatoes and green beans -- are already cooked, all you need to do is some washing and slicing. On a platter, make a bed of lettuce. Arrange tomatoes sliced in fourths and thin slices of peeled cucumber on the lettuce. Add olives, anchovies, tuna, green beans, eggs and potatoes in some artful manner.
Splash some dressing on top, and serve.
It's that easy. You'll likely end up with some leftover olives and anchovies as I did, but having those two things on hand is great for pasta sauces and simpler salads. Some recipes also call for artichoke hearts, asparagus, basil or onions, so add whatever you'd like.
Know that, traditionally (that is, according to Provençal cookbooks), salade niçoise contains nothing boiled other than eggs. No potatoes or green beans. Others argue that the salad must have canned tuna, not fresh, and it can't have both canned tuna and anchovies. I can tell you that I've had this all over France, and there doesn't really seem to be a rhyme or reason as to what's included and what isn't. Just make it something you'll enjoy.