Salmon Nicoise Salad
One of the toughest decisions I face with introducing this blog is choosing which recipes to begin with. Ignoring the undeniable fact that nobody even reads this blog yet (save for a few good friends, my mother, and my mother-in-law), I feel strongly that I should begin with recipes that make an impression and establish a context. I want humbledish to have purpose and a clear direction. Really, this salmon nicoise salad is the food-embodiment of what I’d like humbledish to be all about: foods that reach elegance by way of simplicity, allowing simple and wholesome ingredients to speak for themselves.
I started making this salad at the beginning of this summer and it became an immediate favorite, gracing my meal plan nearly once per week- I never tire of it! Salade Nicoise is a french classic and I can totally see why. It has a delightful variety of colors and textures, plus bright flavors, and it’s absurdly healthy while being completely satisfying. As added bonuses, it is also make-ahead friendly and endlessly customizable. It’s pretty easy on the eyes, as well- grouping each element of the salad individually makes for beautiful presentation, n’est ce pas? (7th grade french language proficiency: proven.)
Traditional Salade Nicoise calls for canned, oil-packed tuna as the main protein- this transplanted northwesterner prefers fresh, oven roasted salmon. This recipe is a great one to keep in the back pocket as it always manages to impress, while requiring very little time or skill. I kid you not, 70% of this is just boiling water. It’s magic. Let’s get to it!
- 1/2 lb. salmon
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- juice of other half of lemon
- 6 T. olive oil
- 1 t. anchovy paste
- 1 T. course ground mustard
- 1 small tomato, sliced in wedges
- 7 fingerling (or very small) potatoes, sliced in half the long way
- 20 green beans, trimmed
- 2 eggs
- olives, packed in oil
- salad greens
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse salmon under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place skin-side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover with sliced lemon. Bake for 20-25 minutes while you prepare the salad. When cooked, set aside to cool.
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to boil. Set a colander in the sink.
- Blanch the potatoes first until tender, then remove with tongs to the colander. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Next, blanch the green beans until bright green, and remove to the colander. Rinse with cold water with the potatoes.
- Carefully add the eggs to the boiling water and cook to your desired hardness- I soft boil mine for 7 minutes to achieve a slightly runny yolk with firm whites.
- Add cooked eggs to colander and rinse with cold water for 2 minutes, then allow everything to drain.
- Lay down your bed of lettuce onto two dinner plates. Evenly distribute the tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and green beans between the two plates, grouping each topping individually around the plate.
- Remove the salmon skin and cut up the salmon into 1-inch cubes, then add to plate. Peel the eggs and place on a cutting board, quarter each egg and add to the plate.
- Re-whisk the dressing and drizzle all over.