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Mama’s Kitchen: Salad Niçoise with Basil Vinaigrette

salad nicoise with basil vinaigrette

My husband’s co-worker is a hobby fisherman and he gifted my husband with some fresh-caught tuna.  His co-worker prepared the tuna in chicken broth and jalapenos and I couldn’t wait to try it.  However, I didn’t want to just make tuna salad – I wanted something different.  So instead of making a tuna melt I made a Salad Niçoise with Basil Vinaigrette.  The tuna – and the salad – was delicious.  I had left over Basil Vinaigrette left over which I then used the rest of the week on different salads.

The recipe I based this dish off is from Fine Cooking.  I’ve made the original recipe as written and it was delicious.  This time I was in a bit of a rush and as we’re in the middle of winter I wasn’t going to fire up the grill for the potatoes.  I was also on a cleanse and had to skip the mayo and the eggs.  Below you’ll find the recipe I made in the picture above.  It was delicious and I’ll make it again and again.  And save that extra salad dressing for other salads!

Salad Niçoise with Basil Vinaigrette
Adapted from Niçoise Salad with Grilled Tuna & Potatoes from Fine Cooking
Serves 2

Salad Ingredients
6 small/medium golden or red potatoes, cubed
Kosher salt
8 oz. haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed
8 oz 1-inch-thick fresh tuna steaks or 1 or 2 cans of tuna (depending on the size and how much you want)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry
1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
1-1/4 lb. small ripe red, yellow, and orange tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup Nicoise olives (or other black olives)
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450º.  In a bowl, coat the potatoes with olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan and cover with foil. Roast until tender fork tender (about 30-40 minutes) and remove foil until a bit caramelized on the edges (about another 10 minutes).

Bring a small pot of water to a boil.  Add haricots verts for 2-3 minutes.  Take out bean and immediately place in an ice water bath to preserve color and stop the cooking.

Make Basil Vinaigrette below.

If using fresh tuna, rub olive oil on both sides and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.  Grill or Roast to your desired doneness.  If using canned tuna, drain the tuna and set aside.  Since it doesn’t take very long to cook tuna I would wait until the potatoes are almost ready before starting the tuna.

When all of the components are cooked assemble the salad and drizzle with basil vinaigrette.

Basil Vinaigrette Recipe
Adapted from Food & Wine

1 small garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Pinch of sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar[, sugar, mustard] and crushed red pepper and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Buon Appetito!

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