It’s always a routine, but from about 11am on a usual day in our office, you will be asked the question “What are you having for lunch?”
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s no secret that we love our food. One of the girls regularly brings in lunch from home, and her favourite salad is Nicoise. I’ve heard of the salad but never tried it, and one day I was at a nearby Mero Mero salad bar and decided to give their Tuna Nicoise a shot. It was light and refreshing, and good value for the $12 I had paid. It was something I decided I wanted to re-create at home, but put my own spin on it.
I had The Sister over for a couple of evenings over the Christmas break and made this twice as she loved it so much. Neither of us are massive fans of plain salads, but we found this salad undeniably satisfying and filling; it just hit the spot.
To serve 2-3, you will need:
- 1 hot-smoked salmon fillet;
- 75g baby spinach leaves, washed;
- 180g green beans, washed, ends trimmed and halved;
- 85g cherry tomatoes, halved;
- 6-8 katamala olives, pitted and sliced;
- 2 eggs;
- 2 creme gold washed potatoes;
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes;
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves;
- 1 clove garlic, crushed;
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- 50ml extra-virgin olive oil;
- 50ml white wine vinegar;
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard;
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill;
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to season.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place the two eggs into a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Place on the stove over a medium heat. When it boils, reduce heat immediately to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes for eggs with soft yolks and hard whites. If you want to “centre” the yolk, stir the eggs with a wooden spoon while it’s simmering. Once time is up, place the saucepan in the sink and ensure eggs are cooled completely before peeling.
Wash your potatoes thoroughly and chop into 2x2cm dice. Place in a small bowl and add the chilli, thyme, garlic and two tablespoons olive oil, and season with salt and some pepper. Mix thoroughly before laying out onto a tray lined with foil. Place in the middle of the oven and allow to roast for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.
Remove the eggs from the saucepan and re-fill with water. Boil this water on the stovetop and when tumbling, add the chopped beans and blanch for two minutes or so until bright green. Remove from heat immediately and strain into a colander, pouring over cold water to stop the beans from cooking further.
Slice each egg into eighths. In a large bowl, combine the spinach leaves, tomatoes, olives, eggs, potatoes and beans. Shred the hot smoked salmon into this salad in large, generous chunks.
Into a jar, add the extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard and chopped dill. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and screwing on the lid of the jar tightly, shake the jar until the dressing is well-combined. Pour this dressing over the fresh salad, toss and enjoy immediately.
This is a zesty salad that will truly not leave you wanting for anything else. I found adding chilli flakes to the roasting potatoes gives the salad a lovely subtle heat which lingers on your palate long after you’ve finished, and I much prefer the woody smokiness of the meaty salmon over tinned tuna steak. A gorgeous salad that I’ll be making much more of over the next summer months. Xx