Summer Salad Nicoise!
The Summer is well underway and we hope you are making memories! A Salad Nicoise is a cool meal solution that is substantial, can be prepped in advance, and is great served for the family or for guests! We created a bright Cultivated Tree Lemon Vinaigrette specifically to complement this salad – but try it on steamed veggies too! This is a classic french salad typically made from quality ingredients from the current seasons’ bounty. And of course the french way is to savor every morsel with family and friends! I love this relaxing simplicity myself and hope it contributes to your Summer memories. Serve with a nice fruit and cheese plate, a crusty baguette and a cold bottle of Rose or Sauvignon Blanc wine!
A little about our vinaigrette ingredients: our A-Premium White Balsamic – new to the store – is made from white Trebbiano Grape must. It undergoes the cooking and barrel aging process in Modena Italy, however it is not caramelized. The result is a crisp, tart vinegar with just a hint of residual grape flavor. The acidity is 6% which is higher than most of our aged balsamic’s. You might consider it similar in taste to a high quality champagne vinegar. Our Eureka Lemon Fused Olive Oil is used here but not in a typical 50:50 ratio as when paired with many of our other aged balsamic options. Be specific with the addition of the fresh lemon juice – less is more in this vinaigrette recipe. The resulting vinaigrette is extremely versatile and a perfect balance for the Cultivated Tree Summer Salad Nicoise!
- 3/4 pound Red Bliss or Yukon Gold potatoes - 2 inch size best, or fingerlings
- 2 tablespoons Sea salt + 2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme + 4 cloves garlic for cooking potatoes
- 1/2 Medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound Haricot Verts (French Green Beans)
- 4 Large Eggs - hard boiled in advance is great!
- 1/2 pound Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 Cans of 5-8 oz Tuna packed in Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup pitted Nicoise olives (small black olives oil brined are best)
- 2 tablespoons brined Capers, rinsed
- 15 Fresh basil leaves, torn
- 4 cups Butter, Bibb or mixed greens, washed dried and torn to bite size
- 1 small shallot, minced - about 2 Tbsp.
- 1 small garlic clove, minced - about 1/2 tspn.
- 1 teaspoon quality Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup Cultivated Tree Eureka Lemon Fused Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Cultivated Tree A-Premium White Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Gather all of your salad ingredients & prep your onion, tomatoes, basil and lettuce and set them aside.
- Wash your potatoes. Place them along with the 2 Tbsp. salt, 2 Sprig of Thyme and 4 garlic cloves in a pot of water and bring to a gently rolling boil. Boil until cooked (depends on size of potatoes), 2 inch diameter should take about 15-18 minutes, once the water starts to boil.
- Turn off your heat source and remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and allow to cool.
- Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice and add water - you will use this as an ice bath for the haricot verts.
- To save time (I'm in to this!) Return your pot with water from potaotes back to the heat source and bring back to a Go back to your pot of water used for cooking the potatoes and return it to a gentle boil - adding water if you need to. Place your haricot verts (French green beans) in the pot. Blanch them for just 1-3 minutes. Remove them immediately using tongs and put them into the prepared ice bath. This will ensure they are rinsed of potato starch, the salt, remain crisp and hold their color!
- When completely cool - remove from the ice bath and cut on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces. Slice the potatoes into quarters.
- To plate the salads – put lettuce with torn basil in center; potatoes, beans, tomatoes & egg slices are the perimeter. Sprinkle onions over the lettuce; add tuna, a few capers and the olives. Serve the vinaigrette on the side – or drizzle over each salad.
- Salt and pepper the salad to taste. This is excellent served with a cold Rose or Sauvignon Blanc wine and a fresh baguette!