Salade Niçoise

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

4 cups mixed baby lettuces, plus a handful of frisée
½ pound snap peas
1 pound baby red potatoes
½ shallot, chopped
2 cups Glacier tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 (6-7 ounce) cans tuna bonito in olive oil
½ cup Niçoise olives
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as parsley, basil and French tarragon
2-3 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed (if desired)
Niçoise vinaigrette (see recipe)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Add the snap peas and blanch for 1 minute. 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 vinaigrette and the shallot. With a rubber spatula, gently toss the warm potatoes with the Niçoise vinaigrette; set aside to cool. In another bowl, toss the snap peas and tomatoes with 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat.

4. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce. Add the potatoes, snap peas, 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, sweet peppers or the traditional green beans! You can also try substituting the canned tuna with seared Ahi steaks, or even grilled salmon.

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