My favorite spring salad is the Classic Nicoise Salad. Except for pronouncing it (nee-swaz), this salad is not difficult to make but does take a bit of fore thought and preparation. IT IS SO WORTH the time though! I found this recipe on the Food Network site. There are different variations but this is closest to what I do.
Give it a try.
1 pound red-skinned potatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick
10 ounces thin baby green beans, trimmed
4 large eggs
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes or small cocktail tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated (I use mixed greens)
6 radishes, trimmed and quartered
2 5 1/2 -ounce cans Italian or Spanish tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup nicoise olives
Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool. Reserve the saucepan.
Meanwhile, bring a separate saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with salted ice water. Add the baby green beans to the boiling water; cook until crisp-tender and bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water to cool; drain and pat dry.
Place the eggs in the reserved saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water to cool. Peel under cold running water.
Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.
Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/4 cup dressing to the potatoes and toss. Quarter the hard-cooked eggs.
Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Arrange the potatoes, green beans, radishes, hard-cooked eggs and tuna on top. Pour any juices from the tomatoes into the dressing, then add the tomatoes to the plates. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the olives.
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