Chef Craig's Salade Nicoise
From Fresh Canadian Bistro
I've loved Salade Nicoise for a million years. And this one - especially the vinaigrette is awesome.
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
6 free-range hard boiled eggs, peeled, chilled & sliced in half
1lb/450g greenhouse or garden lettuce (Boston, bib or mesclun mix)
8 fingerling potatoes, cooked and sliced in half, lengthwise
½ English cucumber, sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8oz/225g fresh green beans (Ruth’s note: I leave these out in the winter), blanched in boiling water & chilled
2 greenhouse (or fresh off the vine in summer) tomatoes, sliced
1 pint/475ml cherry tomatoes (mixed colors if you can find them)
2 stalks of celery sliced on the bias
1 cup preserved or canned artichoke, sliced
¾ cup Nicoise olives (Kalamata are delicious too)
2 cans (7oz/170g) tuna (Chef Craig likes his in water, I like mine in oil) Another option is to sear fresh tuna and thinly slice.
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup vinaigrette (Ruth’s note: this one is the best ever)
3 anchovy fillets (Ruth’s note: those who love anchovies will be in heaven and those who usually turn up their noses, will be wondering what makes it taste so good. You don’t have to tell them!)
1 shallot, very finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced to pulp
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the vinaigrette:
1. Smash anchovy fillets in a bowl with a fork and add the shallot and garlic.
2. Add the mustard, lemon juice & zest, vinegar, salt & pepper and whisk until smooth. Add the oil in a slow steady stream while whisking until the vinaigrette is smooth and emulsified. Makes ¾ cup and will keep refrigerated for a couple of weeks (not in my house, it’s that popular)
Ruth’s note: I actually do this all in the food processor. I start by mashing the anchovies by hand and adding them to the bowl of the food processor. Then I turn the power on and drop the shallot and garlic clove in through the feeding tube. They only take a few seconds to be turned to pulp. Then add everything except the oil, pulse a few times and then leave the motor running while you pour the oil through the feeding tube.
For the salad:
1. Use a large platter and serve family style. Lay the greens on the platter and build up from there, adding the rest of the ingredients. (Ruth’s note: every time I make Salade Nicoise I use what ever looks fresh and inviting – so ingredients vary by season).
2. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, roughly torn and a generous bath of vinaigrette.