Monday, August 6, 2007

Nicoise-Inspired Salad

The 90+ degree temperatures in DC have made me reluctant to use the stove or, God forbid, the oven that without fail causes my smoke alarm to go off every time I turn it on. I'm not a big fan of cold salads with just lettuce and raw veg, so a little stove-action is necessary. This variation of a Nicoise salad requires very little time spent standing in front of the stove, and it leaves a minimum of dishes to wash - perfect for a hot summer night when all I want to do is sit on the couch in front of the air conditioner, watching Anthony Bourdain eat exotic cuisine on the Travel Channel.

Nicoise-Inspired Salad

1 handful new potatoes
1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
a few small radishes, thinly sliced
1 can tuna in water, drained
1-2 eggs
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Place eggs in a small pot, cover with cold water, set over med-high flame until water boils. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Remove eggs and rinse in cold water, then place in ice water for two minutes. Peel, slice into wedges, and set aside.
2. While eggs are cooking, place potatoes in a separate pot, cover with cold salted water, set over med-high flame, and boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a small knife. Remove potatoes, rinse in cold water, and place in ice water until cool. Slice in half if necessary and set aside.
3. While eggs and potatoes are cooking, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Mix potatoes, tuna, tomatoes, and radishes with vinaigrette. Top with egg slices. Enjoy.

This is a very forgiving recipe which can be added to, subtracted from, or otherwise altered. Next time I'll try some chopped parsley and steamed green beans (in classic Nicoise salad style). Canneloni (white) beans would also be good and add some more substance. Whatever you choose, just make sure the ingredients are fresh - that makes all the difference.

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