Salade Niçoise

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

Ingredients:
¾ pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound baby red potatoes
½ shallot, chopped
2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 heads Romaine lettuce, leaves separated
2 (6-7 ounce) cans tuna
½ cup Nicoise olives
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons chopped herbs, such as parsley, basil and French tarragon
2-3 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed
Niçoise vinaigrette

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

2. Return the water to a boil. Add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are 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 beans with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them. In a third bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to coat them.

4. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce. Add the potatoes, beans, and tomatoes. Top with tuna, and olives. Spoon some of the remaining dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the herbs and capers. Garnish with peeled, hard-boiled eggs.

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

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