A Recipe from the Chef: Summer Nicoise Salad

Nothing is better than a cool summer salad recipe when the dog days of summer are upon us.

This classic Parisian salad is typically prepared with tuna, and I felt that a chilled poached Salmon alternative may fit the bill  nicely, combined with the traditional garnishes, coupled with a few of my non traditional garnishes.

Paired with a simple Provencal rose, this is a wonderful light dinner or lunch dish to create. Although it appears to be a tad bit labor intensive, it is not, and once all of the prep is done, it comes together very fast,a nd can be produced in large amounts if you expect many guests.

Ingredients: 

  • fresh salmon fillets, bottom skin removed ( 6 ounces per guest)
  • Fresh  summer snap beans ( six per guest)
  • small red bliss potatoes( three per guest)
  • quartered artichoke hearts( six per guest)
  • if available, the best local summer tomatoes, sliced( two medallions per guest)
  • butter lettuce( enough per guest to line plate)
  • anchovy fillets( optional)
  • fresh  “semi hard ” boiled farm eggs, cut in quarters( one per guest)
  • cerignola black olives (available fresh at most good grocery stores)
  • home made pickled Kirby cucumbers (prepped before as sweet refrigerator pickles)
  • home made pickled vidalia onions (prepped before as sweet refrigerator onions)
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • shallot dijon vinaigrette dressing
  • crusty  french baguette (cut longways and drizzled with olive oil and  garlic)

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are oven roasted, which brings out the sugars during rationalization, and turns these veggies into golden sweet morsels of deliciousness!

Instructions:

  1. To begin, Get your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rub salmon with sea salt, pepper and  olive oil. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until slightly translucent( I prefer the Salmon to be on the “sushi” side of cooked, and very rare in the middle) Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Next, in a large mixing bowl, place snap beans, red bliss potatoes, and artichoke hearts , drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss them till all of your veggies are lightly coated. Place on  sheet pan and roast in oven until all veggies are slightly caramelized , but not too soft( artichokes will finish first, then snap beans , then potatoes. Remove accordingly)
  4. Toss in baguette until lightly crispy and golden.. Remove from oven and rub sides of bread with fresh garlic cloves to season.
  5. Arrange salmon, beans, potatoes, artichokes, and tomatoes over bed of butter lettuce. Garnish with black olives, anchovy fillets( optional) boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers,  and pickled onions, Lightly dress with Shallot vinaigrette. Serve with crusty warm bread.

 

BONUS! Here’s our Mason Jar Shallot Vinaigrette!

In a  small mason jar, combine olive oil, sherry or red wine vinegar( 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar), one finely  minced shallot, teaspoon of dijon mustard,  salt and pepper. Shake like crazy until dressing emulsifies. Taste to be sure not to acidic and adjust as needed!

 

And here’s our Granny’s Refigerator Pickles and Onions!

I make these ALL SUMMER LONG; and do not be afraid to use any veggies in your ice box (carrots, cauliflower, red peppers, green beans, etc.).

Again, make sure you start with clean mason jars with good lids.  There is no need to sterilize these jars, as you will only be storing pickles in them for no more than a week or two.

Instructions:

  1. Slice kirby cucumbers on the bias and fill jars pretty tightly.
  2. Slice vidalia onions into thin rings and also place in mason jars .
  3. On stove top, boil together equal parts of white distilled vinegar, white granulated sugar and garlic cloves (five needed per mason jar) until solution is clear, and garlic has softened
  4. Pour warm brine over cucumbers and onions. Let stand at room temp until cooled enough to put mason jar lids on, and refrigerate.

These are so so easy and will hold in the fridge for about two weeks, and they are the perfect summer “pickles” without the need to can according to standard methods of sterilizing, boiling and sealing jars.

 

Enjoy!
Chef Russ

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