I came up with this version of Salad Nicoise at Edisto Island, hence the name. This great salad is really a main course, it has everything a good meal requires and is quite filling. Smaller versions may, of course, be made if desired. I would also be flexible in ingredients. Use available ingredients and don’t freak out if you are missing something.
This is for two people and amounts listed are approximate.
1 bunch quality leaf lettuce
1/4 pound French green beans (haricots vert)
2 small cans quality tuna in water
1 tin anchovies
handful of black olives
1 or 2 nice, ripe, juicy tomatoes
2 hard boiled eggs
8 new potatoes
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
While a very easy recipe, there is a lot of prep work. It is worth it. First, get everything cooked and ready.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Bring water with a dash of salt to a boil and cook the haricots vert until just tender, then immerse in cold water. A bowl of water with some ice cubes works great. This keeps their nice color and stops the cooking. Set aside.
Rub the new potatoes with olive oil, place on oven pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size, in a 350 degree F oven until done. Set aside.
Hard boil two eggs. Set aside.
Quarter the tomatoes and set aside. Separate lettuce leaves and tear into smaller portions if necessary. Note on lettuce. Many types will work here and throwing in some micro-greens or arugula is fine, as well. Just don’t use iceberg!
A note on olives. I personally prefer the small black and slightly dry black olives. Use the olives you like, especially where you don’t have a wide selection available.
Assembly time. For each plate:
Place the lettuce and other greens, if used, in the middle of both plates. Place a dozen or so hericots vert on top of the lettuce.Open and drain one can of tuna. Carefully, turn can over and coax the tuna out into the middle of the plate over the lettuce/haricots vert. Try to keep the tuna shape, but if it falls apart, so be it. Open the anchovies and use two fillets, criss-crossed on top of the tuna. Place four tomato quarters evenly around the tuna/lettuce. Quarter a hard boiled egg and place evenly around the tuna/lettuce. Place four new potatoes evenly around the tuna/lettuce. Take four artichoke hearts from the marinade (save the marinade) and place evenly around the tuna/lettuce. Sprinkle a few olives around the tuna.
The dressing is very simple and really not traditional, but it was what I had available and was quite good. Thoroughly mix the vinegar and olive oil and a couple tablespoons of the artichoke marinade with a dash of salt. Pour liberally over the salad