I knew I was kind of pushing my luck serving salmon two days in a row. Dave informed me that it is not much of a “hard-working man’s meal”. By hard-working, he means painting the second of four sides of the house. I think he was too hot and tired to protest. I did surprise him by making a beautiful plate of our favorite heirloom tomato bruschetta. We finally have tomatoes and basil all ripe together. If you are not growing your own tomatoes, you must splurge; at least once this summer, on a few from the farmers market and make this dish. A little fresh mozzarella and prosciutto make this a meal on its own!
Though Salad Nicoise is traditionally made with tuna, I often see it made with salmon as I have done here. Maybe it is a Pacific Northwest thing. Regardless, it is becoming my favorite preparation! And since it’s summer and we are having a French salad, I had to serve it with a lovely, dry rose! Someone needs to inform the folks who stock the wine in the cooler that people drink chilled rose in the summer. There were numerous choices on the shelf, and none in the cooler! Doesn’t it look beautiful with the salmon?
for the Salad Nicoise
for the dressing
Dijon Vinaigrette – not traditional – but my version!
2/3 cup of great quality olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste.
Whisk all together in a small bowl or measuring cup.
for the salad
4-6 small baby new potatoes, boiled gently until fork tender, drained and cooled
1/2 pound haricot vert – or any other small green bean, blanched until tender and cooled
2-4 hard-boiled eggs
a handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes
mixed baby lettuce
Nicoise olives (I could not find these at my regular store. I substituted the Lucques olives I had on hand. At least they were French!)
4 ounce portion of grilled salmon or one can of good quality tuna packed in olive oil, per serving
capers for garnish
fresh ground pepper and salt
Slice the cooled potatoes, place in a small bowl and pour a little of the dressing over them. Garnish with a small spoonful of capers. Stir gently to coat. Place the green beans in a small bowl and dress them in the same fashion. Slice the tomatoes, peel the eggs and chill until ready to plate.
To assemble the salad, place a handful of the baby lettuce on a chilled dinner plate. Sprinkle with a little of the salad dressing. Arrange the sliced potatoes, green beans, eggs, tomatoes, salmon or tuna, and olives in a pleasing pattern. Spoon a little more dressing over the salad. Bon appetite!
to prepare the Bruschetta
fresh baguette bread, sliced on the diagonal
salt and pepper
chopped heirloom tomatoes, about 1 cup
finely minced garlic, 4-5 cloves
1/4 cup basil chiffonade
Brush the sliced baguette bread with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toast until the edges brown.
Mix the diced tomatoes, minced garlic and basil together in a small bowl. Add a little olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Stir gently.
Spoon the tomato basil mixture onto the toasted bread. Garnish with a little more basil.