Thursday, January 17, 2008

bastardized nicoise salad

or: way too many photos of food...

I went to the farmers' market yesterday. I wanted golden beets, but they didn't have any. They had these instead and I can't stop photographing them. I should have busted out the tripod, sorry for the blurriness. I think they were called peppermint beets? Too lazy to look it up.

And the dinner they participated in:
Not-so-nicoise salade*

Soooo glad I used the tripod for these babies.

To a bed of baby lettuce, layer the following:
Wegdes of tomatoes
Blanched asparagus spears
Blanched beets
Wedges of avocado
Boiled fingering potatoes quartered lengthwise or however you want to cut em up
2 hardboiled eggs

Top with pan-seared sushi-grade, wild-caught, dolphin-friendly tuna.

Scoop out a portion for each plate and drizzle with mustard vinaigrette.

Holy cow, I think I need to have some more of that.

Mustard Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried basil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
freshly crushed sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of vietnamese fish sauce (or anchovy juice, I didn't have anchovy juice so I subbed in the fish sauce)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of finely minced shallot

Add all ingredients to an empty tomato sauce jar, screw on the lid and shake it till the oil and vinegar have emulsified. Let sit while preparing rest of the dinner so that the herbs have time to mix and mingle. Shake briskly again before serving.

*If I'm not mistaken a traditional nicoise salad includes green beans, tomato wedges, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchovy fillets and of course the nicoise olives on a bed of lettuce with a mustard vinaigrette that uses the juices from the anchovies. I couldn't find green beans at the farmers' market so I substituted with asparagus and then went a little crazy with the other vegetables. M's not a huge fan of olives so I didn't go to the trouble of adding them either. In our home nicoise salad has become anything with a minimum of potatoes, tomatos, eggs and some sort of fresh fish atop it.

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