So when I got back from Raleigh last week, one of the first things we did was head to Publix to grab some fruit and veggies to get us through the week, as we'd missed our usual expedition to the farmer's market. This is how I came to be in possession of a big bag of salad greens that needed to be eaten up before they went bad this week. The solution? Salad Nicoise.
Salad Nicoise also has the advantage of using up some of the produce I'd purchased Saturday morning. It's full of protein and variety and can serve as dinner on a hot summer day. I made a vegetarian version, because I felt like it, but it traditionally includes tuna. I did have a decent picture of it, but my camera decided to delete everything, rather than safely download it to Picasa like i told it to.
1 bag o' salad from the grocery store
3 hard boiled eggs, cut in wedges
1 tomato, cut in wedges
1/4 pound fresh green beans, blanched
4 boiled new potatoes, cut into wedges
cucumber, sliced into rounds (Not traditional, but we like them and they needed to be eaten too)
1 tablespoon creamy mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
I think the secret here, which I totally borrowed from this recipe published by the New York Times and inspired this meal, was to flavor the potatoes as they cooked by adding a bay leaf, peppercorns and a generous amount of salt. I cooked the potatoes and eggs, and blanched the green beans while I was kicking around the house, trying to make heads or tails of my first assignment for grad school (My problem? It's too open ended. I've been out of school for six years. Don't tell me to "write a paper on something you're interested in related to education." I need a little direction until the scholarly part of my brain kicks in again.).
So when the husband came home, the only thing I had to do was assemble the ingredients on a platter and drizzle my mustard dressing over the whole thing. I also added a big handful of chopped oregano and basil from my tiny herb garden sprinkled over the top. It actually made a pretty substantial meal by itself, though I could see adding a grilled chicken breast or some fresh baked bread to it.