It Could Be Worse… [Nicoise Salad with Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette]
It could be worse.
I keep trying to tell myself that of our “feels like” 42C weather. And while I know, deep down in the pit of my stomach where all the truths to my denials live, that it indeed could be so much worse, my outer shell, the one that feels like it’s been dripping with sweat and unable to sleep in our brain-roasting apartment for 2 weeks, doesn’t quite agree.
To make matters only slightly worse, I’ve been partaking in my usual summer eating habits and trying to avoid the kitchen/stove like the plague. This usually involves a lot of restaurants, take-out, quick pastas and the likes. All very delicious, but all very heavy when it’s too hot to get much exercise. I’ve been feeling heavy, bloated and nasty from it all.
And so, rather than sitting for one stinking, sweaty moment longer, I made my way to the kitchen. And surprisingly, something truly delicious came out of my determination to shake dust (aka. sweat) from my bones.
Nicoise Salad is simple, packed with vibrant, hunger-inducing colours and filled with delicious things that will keep your body full and happy for hours. I ate it around 5pm and was happily full into the night. For those that know me, that’s a feat that few meals can accomplish. I am a snacker by nature and can seldom make it through an evening without grabbing (at least) a late-night yogurt or smoothie. I didn’t even think, not even once, about food after this salad. So make it, and eat it, in good health and sweaty pants.
It’s traditional to use canned fish in this salad, but if you’re opposed to it, feel free to add a seared piece of your favourite fish. In the same note, it is tradtional to serve a red-wine vinaigrette but I swamped it for a lemony-parsley version purely for my own likes.
Boiled potatoes aren’t exactly traditional, but I love the way they round out the salad and provide some extra sustenance. And delicious carbs. I like those.
2 big handfuls green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup shelled fava beans, optional
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups boiled baby potatoes (red or yellow)
1/2 cup Nicoise-style olives
2-3 tbsp caper berries
small handful cornichons, optional
4 hard boiled eggs
2 cans white (albacore), water packed tuna, flaked
Romaine or Boston Lettuce
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp honey
salt & pepper
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp parsley, minced
Place a handful of ice cubes in a big bowl and fill with cold water.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute until bright green. Strain and place in the ice bath you prepared earlier.
Get a few bowls or plates together and on each, place a handful of lettuce in the center. Place the rest of the ingredients around the outsides of the plate and place the flaked tuna right in the center.
In a medium bowl, whisk the lemon, garlic, honey, pinch salt and pepper together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Finish with the parsley and combine everything until smooth.
Spoon as much of the vinaigrette over the plates as you like. And then nom-nom-nom it all up!