Friday, July 30, 2010

Salad Nicoise

This week I had some stray green beans left from my produce box and I wasn't sure what to do with them. Coincidentally, we also had some leftover boiled small red potatoes. You what I was thinking? I was thinking Salad Nicoise! Composed salads are great fun and also an excellent way to use up extra veggies. Plus composed salads look awesome and you can serve them to guests without it appearing you are serving leftovers. (Heads up to future guests. If you see a composed salad, you are seeing last night's dinner.)

When I make a composed salad, I always just use my everyday vinaigrette, which I usually have on hand. But I wanted tonight's dinner to be special, so conjured all my inner Frenchness and made a nice vinaigrette with lemon, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, shallot, and then I added the oil slowly while whisking to emulsify. It was great. It might even become my everyday dressing.

I took at peek at Mastering the Art of French Cooking for salad pointers and mine was pretty spot-on with Julia's but hers had anchovies, so I added them to mine and I have to say, they made all the difference. I wish every meal of leftovers could be so luxurious. Another of her pointers that I've taken to heart is always use tuna packed in oil. She's right about that one. Tuna packed in water tastes like dust.

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