A while back, I wrote about the joy of new produce at the local farmer's market. With temperatures warming and snow melting, my mind wanders off to some of my favorite ways to use fresh produce. As I said in Spring Tastes:
"... creamy soft new potatoes, so fresh you can taste the earth they were grown in. You hear about the terroir of great wines, but the prairie earth taste of a new potatoes in a Salade Niçoise, on the deck on a warm summer evening! Delightful!"
Salade Niçoise can be made as a composed salad, as in the picture, or presented more casually with the ingredients scattered onto a plate and topped with the tuna.
|1||1/2||tsp||Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice|
|2||tbsp||White Balsamic Vinegar
|1/4||tsp||Fresh Ground Black Pepper
|2||lg||Eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
|1||small||Red or Green Bell Pepper
||Anchovy Fillets, packed in oil, drained
|2||c||Coarsely Chopped Romaine, or other lettuce
|1|| 8 fl oz
||can||Flaked Tuna packed in water
|6||oz||Sushi-grade Fresh Tuna, and
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a min-blender and whiz until smooth.
- Prepare a large bowl with ice water in it. Bring a medium pan of water to full boil.
- Top and tail the green beans.
- If desired, the baby potatoes can be halved or a ring of skin can be removed around the middle, as shown.
- Add the beans to the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for another 2 minutes and then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the ice water bath.
- Add the salt to the boiling water.
- Boil the potatoes until just tender to a knife inserted in the middle, about 7 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath using a slotted spoon.
- While the potatoes are boiling, cut the eggs into sections or slices, and slice both the tomatoes and the cucumber. Cut up the bell pepper.
- Drain both the beans and the potatoes and pat dry using a clean dish towel.
- Spread the romaine lettuce over the serving plate and arrange the other ingredients, except the tuna and the anchovies, as desired on top.
- If using fresh tuna, heat a saute pan over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, pat dry and lightly season the tuna on all sides. Pour the olive oil into the pan, swirl to coat the bottom, and then sear the tuna, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. The centre should still be raw. Allow the tuna to rest on a plate for a few minutes, and then slice into 1/2" (12 mm) slices. Lay the tuna on top of the other ingredients.
- If using canned tuna, combine with 2 -3 tablespoons of the dressing and mound in the centre of the platter.
- The anchovy fillets can be sliced lengthwise and arranged decoratively or cut crosswise into 1" (2.5 cm) pieces and scattered over the salad.
- If necessary blend the dressing again until smooth, and pour over the salad.
Serve with a fresh baguette and a crsip white wine.