Sometimes, the best lunch is just a big giant salad. But not just a boring lettuce and veggies salad, a delicious one with tons of protein, carbs, veggies, and lots of flavor. So when my mom was having company at the pool, I decided to do just that. A giant salad for lunch. It was easy to make, though it took a while to do all the steps, and was definitely worth it. For dinner I would sear tuna steaks, but for lunch, 2 cans of tuna is perfect.
I know you’re probably thinking “a salad recipe? really?” But I promise it’s worth it. It takes a lot of steps, but is very easy to make with the right prep. My mom and her guests liked it so much that I made it again two days later for a different set of company. So yeah, try this recipe if you can.
The original recipe calls for two heads of boston lettuce, but that’s just boring to me. I love baby lettuces, so decided to mix it up a bit. Plus, it’s easier to wash and dry them. And you don’t have to chop baby lettuces, either. It was a hit, and next time I’d do the same.
Salad Nicoise, adapted from Chef at Home:
Serves 6 for a main course
For the salad:
- 12 small red potatoes, scrubbed and halved or quartered, depending on the size
- 4 quarts cold water
- 1 head boston lettuce
- 3 cups baby lettuces
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, very thinly slices, and soaked in ice water for 5 minutes (this really mellows the flavor!)
- 1 pound string beans, trimmed and halved
- 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 cans chunk white tuna, drained
- 1 can white beans, such as cannelini, rinsed and drained
For the dressing:
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup very good extra virgin olive oil (I used our olive oil of the month club oil)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or smashed
- 1 generous tablespoon dijon mustard
1. Make vinaigrette: Whisk together all the ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large pot, add the potatoes and water and bring to a boil.
3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook 7-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette. Set aside.
5. Bring the water back to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt and the string beans.
6. Cook for 4 minutes, until tender but crisp.
7. Drain and rinse under cold water.
8. Toss beans with 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette and salt and pepper. Set aside.
9. Toss the lettuce with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette until coated. Place in a large bowl, mostly in the center/
10. Toss the tomatoes in dressing and place on lettuce bed in a mound.
11. Drain onions and toss with some dressing. Place in mound on lettuce.
12. Place potatoes and string beans in separate mounds on lettuce.
13. Add the eggs and olives on mounds, as well.
14. Combine the tuna with the white beans and some dressing and place on mound on lettuce.
15. Top salad with more dressing and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
16. Serve and enjoy!