No, we're not punishing ourselves.
I'm a big believer in the large, hearty salad as a means of forking in a lot of vitamins, protein, fiber, and all around nutrition. Plus they're crunchy zesty tasty. While a salad can really be anything which fits into the equation XGreens + YVeggie + ZProtein = ASalad I picked out concepts for 5 new and fun dinner salads for this week.
Here's the lineup:
Tuesday: Seared Tuna Salad with Cilantro and Ginger Vinaigrette
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken with Antipasto Salad
Thursday: Tequila Lime Flank Steak Salad with Chile Lime Vinaigrette
Friday: Quinoa Apricot and Arugula Salad
I had nicoise exactly once before I made it tonight but now that I know how simple it is to put together I'll be tempted to make it once/week in season and to switch up the ingredients to suit the growing seasons for as long as possible.
Speaking of which, one lovely thing about nicoise is that there are a lot of options for creating the hearty and bountiful feel of this delicious dish. Tonight my ingredients were:
-4 cups Organic Spring Mix
-Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
-One small jar of anchovies
-One tin of boneless skinless sardines
-One Red Bell Pepper
-1/3 lb or 3ish cups Green Bean, ends trimmed off
-3 large farm fresh eggs, soft boiled
-2 Tbsp Capers
-1/2 cup olive oil
-2 Tbsp Red Cider Vinegar
-2 cloves Garlic, diced tiny and smashed
-Pinches of Salt and Pepper
Other traditional and popular ingredients for nicoise include olives, radishes, corn, artichokes, squash cubes, and onions. In this way it can be a salad for just about any season
Soft Boiled Eggs: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and carefully drop in the eggs. Cook 8 minutes then transfer them to to an ice-water bath. After a few minutes, peel. Slice in half or quarter.
Cooking the beans: Bring a pot of water to a boil, lower to a simmer and drop the beans in for 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer them to an ice-water bath.
Roasting the bell peppers: Chop the peppers into fajita-style strips, a 1/2 inch wide and about 3 inches long. Saute in olive oil and dust with a pinch of pepper
Mixing the Vinaigrette: Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small tupperware-style container and shake it like polaroid picture.
Assembling the Salad: Arrange all the yummy ingredients in rows (traditional style), or artfully atop the greens in whichever way speaks to you. Sprinkle the capers over the assembled yumminess and then drizzle the vinaigrette over everything. Then devour.
This recipe serves 2-3 or would serve 4 when paired with an appetizer or dessert.