Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Salad Nicoise with Seared Salmon

To encourage healthy eating I have prepared my version of a salad nicoise. Typically, a salad nicoise is made with tuna, but well salmon was on sale. Are you getting a theme yet of my recipes? On sale.  In season. Already in my pantry. This was one delicious salad. This is the way salads are suppossed to taste. I prepared mine with egg, boiled small red potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, steamed green beans, and kalamata olives, and avocado on a bed of spring mix. A salad like this makes it easy to eat healthy. The nice thing is too you can adapt it to your own tastes. Don't like salmon? Try it with chicken or no meat at all! There is plenty of protein from the egg and avocado.  Use up whatever your veggies you have on hand. Although definitely try it with the potatoes. It is a really nice addition to a salad.

I also in attempt to be healthy and fresh, made my own dressing. Feel free to use a good bottled vinagrette. If you haven't made your own dressing though give it a shot. You will be surprised how easy and versatile homemade dressings can be.

Salad Nicoise with Seared Salmon
Adapted from Tyler Florence, Food Network

This salad also makes quite a lot. This recipe is for 8 servings. Adjust to how many people you are making it for or just have extra for lunch. I halved the recipe and it was a perfect amount for 2 dinners and 2 lunches the next day!

Also to save time. I bought the green beans that steam in the bag and popped it in the microwave. Feel free to save yourself a few minutes that way and open a bottle of wine instead!


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 pound small red new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts or French green beans, stems trimmed
  • 2 pounds salmon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint teardrop or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup nicoise olives (I used kalamata olives. Use whatever you can find in your grocery store.)
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • cucumber slices
1. To make the vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Set the dressing aside while preparing the salad so the flavors can marry.

2. Cooking the potatoes, eggs, and green beans in the same pot cuts down on prep time and clean up. To do this, put the potatoes in a large saucepan, add water to cover and a nice pinch of salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer the potatoes for 12 minutes to give them a head start, and then add the eggs. Place a steamer basket or colander on top of the simmering water. Put the green beans in the steamer and cover with a lid. Steam the beans for 5 minutes until crisp-tender while continuing to cook the potatoes until fork tender. Drain out the water and put the potatoes, eggs, and green beans in a colander; rinse briefly under cold water. Peel the shells off the eggs and cut them in 1/2 lengthwise.

3. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub the salmon on all sides (or one side if the skin is on) with olive oil, and a bit of the vinaigrette; season with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Lay the salmon in the hot pan and sear for approximately 6-8 minutes on each side; as the salmon cooks, the pink meat will become whiter. Transfer the salmon to a cutting board and slice equal portions.

4. To assemble the salad: combine the potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, olives,  in a large mixing bowl. Take the vinaigrette and give it another good shake to recombine. Drizzle the salad with enough vinaigrette to fully moisten and toss gently to coat; season with salt and pepper. Take care not to mush up the ingredients - the important thing about salad nicoise is that it is arranged nicely on a platter with all the elements keeping their individual integrity. Put the tossed salad down the center of a serving platter and lay the seared salmon attractively across the top and the eggs around the rim. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve.

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