Salade Niçoise

This classic, colorful salad from the esteemed Julia Child can be customized to your liking.

Ingredients:
4 cups mini Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
2 cups green beans, trimmed of stem ends
1 pound red potatoes
1-2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ shallot, chopped
1 (6-7 ounce) canned Albacore tuna
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as parsley, basil and tarragon
Niçoise vinaigrette (see recipe)

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the green beans and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Lift out with tongs and rinse with very cold water to chill.

2. Return the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a small knife. Drain and transfer to a bowl.

3. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel if desired and slice thickly. Add ½ cup of the Niçoise vinaigrette and the shallot and gently toss the warm potatoes with the vinaigrette; set aside to cool. In another bowl, toss the green beans and tomatoes with 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat.

4. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce. Add the potatoes, green beans and tomatoes. Top with tuna, olives, and capers, if using. Spoon some of the remaining dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the herbs. Peel the hard-boiled eggs, halve them and lay atop the salad.

Variations: This recipe can be modified with an array of seasonal produce, it is especially wonderful with radishes or sweet peppers! You can also try substituting the canned tuna with seared Ahi steaks, or even grilled salmon.

Cucumber & Snap Pea Salad

This crisp salad will cool you down on a hot summer’s day.

Ingredients:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley, chives and mint
1 cucumber, sliced
¾ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar and fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Fold in the cucumber and snap peas. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Spicy Heirloom Tomatoes

Topped with sweet corn and a pinch of cayenne pepper, these juicy tomatoes make a wonderful salad.

Ingredients:
3-4 heirloom tomatoes
½ cup fresh corn kernels
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Cotija cheese

Method:
1. Rinse and slice tomatoes, arrange them on a plate. Take a serrated knife and run it gently down the ear of corn. Sprinkle the corn on top of the tomatoes.

2. Drizzle with a little olive oil, squeeze of citrus, top with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a little cayenne pepper for a kick. Top with crumbled cotija cheese.

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Grilled Potato Salad with Spicy Summer Greens

Accented with mustard vinaigrette and spicy arugula and purslane, this potato salad boasts big, bold flavor.

Ingredients:
1 pound Yukon Gold or red potatoes, washed and cut in quarters
½ Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
3 eggs
2 cups mixed purslane and arugula greens
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Place potatoes in a large pot filled with salted water. Gently place eggs in pot. Turn the heat on to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the eggs and run under cold water to cool. Then drain the potatoes (they should still be slightly undercooked) and set aside.

2. Heat a grill to medium-high, brushing grates with a little bit of olive oil. Grill sweet onion rounds and the potatoes, cut side down, until all are tender and slightly charred with grill marks. Remove to a large bowl, tossing with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, combine the mustard and apple cider vinegar then whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Also peel the hard-boiled eggs and cut into quarters lengthwise.

4. In a large bowl, combine cooled potatoes, onion rounds and greens, tossing with mustard vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper as needed, transfer to a large serving platter and top with hard-boiled eggs.

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