It’s salad weather! Hooray! Salad weather means it’s warm (or at least sunny) enough that my first thought is not how to get home as quickly as possible so I can get warm and dry again. Salad weather means I get to think about balancing creamy and crunch, depth and whimsy in totally different ways. It’s the anti-soup weather. And don’t try to sell me on gazpacho. I will eat gazpacho in Andalusia and that’s it. Seville or bust.
Speaking of not Spain, Nice is a lovely place in France. Salade Nicoise is a concept I like to play with. Easy to pull together, hearty enough for an entree, and only requires one burner, it makes a great weeknight summer dish. The Nicoise Holy Trinity in my mind is potatoes, green beans, and olives. Nicoise olives are, of course, traditional but being short both copious time and independent wealth, I routinely use kalamata olives. No one has reported me yet.
Salade Nicoise a la NW
Up here in this corner of the country we like our greens spicy and our salmon fast and easy. A quick pickled red onion brings a mellow crunch to the mix. And sometimes I stick my salad bowl in a bush. Just go with it.
Top arugula with boiled potatoes, cooked green beans, kalamata olives, pickled red onion, and a cooked salmon patty. Dress with Magic Dijon dressing.
Vegetarian Salade Nicoise
Um, Liz, tuna is sorta a cornerstone of the “Nicoise” flavor profile? I hear you. But I had a house guest that doesn’t eat meat so we swapped in some delicious shiitake mushrooms and roasted red peppers. Live dangerously.
Top butter lettuce with boiled potatoes, cooked green beans, kalamata olives, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, and sliced roasted red peppers. Dress with Magic Dijon dressing.
The secret to raw kale salads is to dress the kale and let it sit for a bit before serving. The acid in the dressing will help soften the tough greens so they are delicious and easy to eat. Yes, kale can be delicious. Promise.
Dress the kale with Magic Dijon dressing. While the kale sits, boil potatoes and green beans. Top soften greens with vegetables, kalamata olives, and tuna.
Magic Dijon Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
Combine and whisk rapidly with a fork until smooth.