Are you ready for this? I think this will be my new go-to Salad that’s a Meal! It is so lovely you will want to serve it at a dinner party, and so delicious, you will be longing for the leftovers. Of course, that assumes there might be leftovers.
Yesterday, Teresa and I really really wanted to cook our favorite Penn Cove Mussels. Oh, they are so good, and oh-so-easy. But, sadly, that’s for another posting. Couldn’t find a single one at the places we usually shop. Another day. Keep an eye out, you won’t ever regret having that recipe.
But this recipe more than made up for the missing mussels.
Flipping through the pages of the April 2015 Bon Apetit, we came upon a bevy of beautiful salads. So colorful, so very healthy-looking. We absolutely could not resist the Salmon Nicoise. I really think this is the most lovely and colorful salad I have ever made. Just look at it. Every color of the rainbow here. Those bright cage-free eggs, those vibrant purple potatoes, stunningly green beans. Stop now! My mouth is watering (again!). And then we put the lovely pink Sockeye Salmon on it and topped it with crispy capers. Yes, please!
This salad is a crowd-pleaser, too. Not only for its obvious beauty (above), but it is so nutritious. Salmon, greens, purple potatoes, green beans, capers, kalamata olives, all topped with a Dijon-lemon-olive oil dressing. This would also be a great day-after-the-indulgence remedy.
Salad Nicoise with Salmon
(Adapted from Bon Apetit, April 2015, p 115)
6-7 purple potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 -6 oz Fresh green beans, trimmed (Haricots verts)
6 large eggs at room temperature
2 T plus 1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c capers, drained and patted dry
1 lb salmon fillet
4 anchovy fillets, oil-packed
1 T whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 t sugar
1/2 medium shallot, finely chopped
4 c baby greens
1/4 c Kalamata or Nicoise olives, pitted
So, let’s get started. The first thing to do is cook the eggs, potatoes, and green beans. All of this can be done in advance, if need be.
Fill a medium saucepan about 3/4 full. Add about 2 teaspoons salt and the purple potatoes. (Really you can use whatever color you want, but that purple is so gorgeous.) Boil until they are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Next, bring the water back to a boil. Drop in the green beans. Blanche for 2-3 minutes. Using tongs, lift them out of the water and into a prepared ice bath. This will stop the beans from cooking and preserve the bright green color. Once cool, place on a paper towel-covered plate.
Again, return to boil. Gently drop the eggs into the water, boil exactly 8 minutes. Plunge them into a prepared ice bath. Cool then peel.
Prepare the crispy capers:
Heat a medium saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Swirl in 2 T olive oil, then add the capers. Heat, stirring often, until capers burst and become crispy. This takes about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel.
Prepare the salad dressing:
In a large serving bowl, mash the anchovies, sugar and mustard to form a paste. Whisk in shallot. Cut peel and pith from the lemon, exposing sections. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully remove the sections from the membrane as you would grapefruit sections. No pith or white membrane should be on the sections. Squeeze remaining juice from the membrane, then discard membrane. (An alternative would be to simply juice the whole lemon. When we cut our lemon, I mistakenly did not remove all of the pith from the surface of thr fruit. It looked like the sections would be difficult to chew, so I ended up juicing the sections and removing the pieces of flesh)
Now drizzle in remaining half cup olive oil, whisking to create emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the salmon:
Brush remaining caper oil over the salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill 10-12 minutes, or until done to medium-rare or medium. It will continue to cook while you assemble the salad. You can serve warm or at room temperature.
Assemble the salad:
Remove about half of the dressing from the serving bowl. Place the greens atop the dressing in the bowl. Using tongs, turn the salad gently until dressed.
Slice eggs lengthwise. Slice potatoes in half.
Arrange other ingredient over the greens, giving each its own section of the bowl: green beans, potatoes, olives, eggs. Drizzle remaining dressing over. Slice the salmon into serving sizes. Arrange over salad. Top with crispy capers.
Serve to delighted guests. Enjoy!