Niçoise salad, fairly well known in America these days, is a specialty from the city of Nice in the south of France. It consists of tuna, tomatoes, blanched string beans, boiled potatoes, hard cooked eggs, and a vinaigrette dressing. I have adapted it by pureeing the tuna in the sauce and adding shrimp. You’re welcome to replace the shrimp with the leftover-cooked protein of your choice including turkey, chicken, or ham. A cozy way to serve this salad is to arrange it on a big platter, set it in the center of the table, and invite people to help themselves.
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on-time: 30 minutes
Total preparation time: 30 minutes
1/2 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and halved or quartered
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
4 large eggs
1 recipe Italian Tuna Sauce (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
Freshly ground black pepper
Four 3-ounce plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
8 anchovies, optional
1/2 cup pitted, brine-cured olives such as kalamata
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are just tender but still hold their shape, 15 to 18 minutes, depending on their size. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Add the green beans to the same water and boil them for about 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and water to stop the cooking. Drain them well in a colander.
While the potatoes are cooking, place the eggs in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring just to a boil over high heat Remove from the heat cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of half ice and half water. Cool completely, then peel under cold running water and quarter lengthwise. Prepare the Italian Tuna Sauce.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot, reduce the heat to medium-high, add the shrimp, and sauté for 3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Season them with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, arrange the potatoes, green beans, shrimp, tomatoes, eggs, anchovies, if using, and olives on each of 4 plates. Drizzle each salad with some of the sauce.
Italian Tuna Sauce: Combine 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, One 3-ounce can tuna packed in oil, drained, 2 tablespoons canned chicken broth, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon drained, bottled capers in a blender and puree until very smooth. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.