As the weather warms into summer, we lean towards lighter foods with bountiful summer produce. A salad is the perfect way to incorporate a greater quantity and variety of plant-based foods into our routine. Including a protein makes this a complete meal. The classic French salade Niçoise is a delicious example and makes it easy to “eat the rainbow” with a variety of colorful produce. The salad looks fancy but is very simple to make. Bring it on a picnic! Just pack each component separately, then plate on arrival. For a plant-based version, omit the eggs, anchovies, and tuna, and substitute garlic-marinated chickpeas. Serve with a crusty whole grain baguette. Bon appétit!
Prep time: 40 minutes
1 garlic clove, minced
1⁄3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
2 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
1 pound small new potatoes, boiled until tender, 13 to 15 minutes
8 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed and blanched
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup black Niçoise or Kalamata olives
8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
8 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained (from a 2-ounce can)
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
2 (4-ounce) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained
1/2 small head radicchio, sliced in bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)
Plant-based variation: omit eggs, anchovies, and tuna, and add garlic-marinated chickpeas
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
- Make garlic paste by sprinkling minced garlic with salt, then use the edge of a chef’s knife to mash into a paste.
- Place garlic paste in a jar, add remaining dressing ingredients, including pepper to taste, and shake until well combined.
- Boil the eggs. My foolproof method for cooking a hard-boiled egg that’s easy to peel and has a perfectly yellow yolk: Place room-temperature eggs in a pot with enough cold water to cover them about an inch, bring water to a boil over high heat, then remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes exactly. After 10 minutes, drain hot water and replace it with cold or ice water to stop cooking process, then let cool completely before peeling and slicing in half lengthwise.
- If using chickpeas, marinate together with minced garlic, olive oil, and salt for at least 10 minutes.
- Toss potatoes and haricots verts with enough vinaigrette to coat.
- Arrange all components beautifully on a platter, placing contrasting colors next to each other. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over entire salad and finish with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Adapted from Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes by Linda Shiue, MD. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hachette Go, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.