Summertime salade nicoise

summer-salad-nicoise

I’ve really been in the mood for a big salad just about every night of this past week. But how do you go about making a salad that will stay fresh (delicious) all week long?

Enter salade nicoise.

This classic French salad comes to us by way of Nice in Côte d’Azur, and you typically see it with tomatoes, olives, hard-boiled eggs and green beans. You’ll also see tuna salad atop it and some really sad, undressed romaine leaves. We’re going to swap out the fish protein for some bright and bitter raw spinach leaves. (Which is okay to do – because the French themselves swap out nicoise ingredients by season and region).

So, I like to make one of these puppies on Sunday night and to store each component separately (outside of the avocado). If I pop home for lunch or need a quick dinner, it’s nice to have everything ready – especially when it’s beautiful.

This recipe serves 4 people.

What you need

1/2 lb fresh spinach, stems removed (and washed thoroughly!)

1/2 lb green beans, stems removed

1/2 lb small waxy potatoes, like new potatoes and purple Peruvians

4 eggs, still cold

6 small radishes

2 small peaches, plums or nectarines

1 avocado

1 recipe of anchovy vinaigrette or your choice of vinaigrette

Maldon salt, to taste, optional

How to do it

I’d highly recommend reading this recipe all the way through; this is a 30-minute or less meal if you can follow along with multi-tasking suggestions.

Put potatoes in a medium sauce pan and add water until just covered. Place on a stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower to a simmer, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, or until you can stab the potatoes through easily with a fork. Remove potatoes from the pan and set aside to cool.

Fill up a large stock pot or sauce pan with water. Bring water to a boil and salt thoroughly– you want the water to taste like the Atlantic Ocean. Drop in green beans and cook 2-3 minutes, or until they soften enough to eat but still have a nice snap.  Remove green beans from the pot with a strainer and set aside to cool.

In a small sauce pan (or the one you used for the potatoes), add cold eggs Add water until eggs are covered by a little more than an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Remove eggs from the pot and set aside to cool.

While you cook the potatoes, green beans, and eggs, chop your radish and fruit choice, and make your anchovy vinaigrette. Quarter the radishes, and thinly slice your peach/plum/nectarine (about 1/8 inch thick).

Once they’re cool, slice the potatoes (about ¼ inch thick), slice the green beans in hald, and quarter the hard-boiled eggs after removing the shells.

Assemble the radishes, fruit, potatoes, green beans, and eggs over spinach (you can dress the spinach now; that’s up to you and your guests). Halve the avocado, and slice thinly length-wise and add over the top. Finish with some sprinkles of Maldon salt.

Serve immediately. For leftovers, store each item separately. Avocado and radish don’t store well once cut; store radishes in cup or small bowl of water and cover, and tightly seal avocado in plastic wrap so it’s untouched by air (that will cause it to oxidize).