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Posts tagged ‘potatoes’

Salade Niçoise


Salad.  The word is ripe with meanings.  Could be dessert, breakfast, a hearty meal, a light spring side, could be greens and a little dressing or contain nothing green at all…might be the whole meal or just a nibble to whet your appetite.  I’m a big fan of savory salads that have intention, I love a composed salad, have a sweet spot for any salad with a hit of protein, and of course…add olives to anything and I’m in!

A niçoise salad hits every mark and is easily made almost any time of year!

This recipe comes from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  I first learned about this book via NPR and The Splendid Table with Lynn Rossetto Kasper who interviewed Dorie.  However, this salad hardly needs a recipe at all (but I posted it below).

We were inspired to make a niçoise after reading a Cook’s Illustrated review of canned tuna focusing not only on taste but also on sustainability and ethics of the company.  American Tuna came out on top…and when we spotted it while grocery shopping…we knew just what we would be making with it.

The tuna is worth the additional cost and the quality is outstanding.

Recipe (courtesy of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan)

8-12 small potatoes, scrubbed
2  5 to 6 oz. cans tuna packed in oil, drained
4 tomatoes, cut into chunks or 20 grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
4 hard-boiled eggs
about 20 Niçoise olives, pitted
2 tbsps. capers, drained and patted dry
8 anchovies, rinsed and patted dry (we skipped the anchovies)
4-6 handfuls of bibb lettuce
1 shallot, finely chopped
olive oil
light vinegar or lemon juice
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
salt and freshly ground pepper

Since it was just the two of us, we halved the recipe and the portions were very generous!

Start by cooking the potatoes in boiling and salted water.  You’ll want to cook the potatoes whole, they will hold their shape and look crisper for the salad.  Depending on the size, they should take between 10-15 minutes…and I would err on the shorter side.  You can test the doneness by piercing one of the potatoes with a paring knife.

We happen to have some hard-boiled eggs on hand from earlier in the week, but if they are not a standard in your fridge…go ahead and hard boil the eggs using your preferred method and make sure they have time to cool down before peeling and quartering them.  Depending on the size of tomato you use, quarter or half the tomatoes.

The green beans need only a very quick blanch in salted boiling water and a quick cool-off in some ice water.  Once you have all your ingredients ready to go – it’s time to pull it all together.  Mix up the dressing…a little olive oil, shallots and vinegar seasoned with salt and pepper.

Toss the lettuce with the dressing and pile high on the plate and then top with all the fixings…in whatever fashion grabs you in the moment.  Open a lovely crisp bottle of white wine to cut through the oil of the tuna, olives and anchovies and the salt of the capers and olives and you’ve got dinner on the table!

Bon Appétit!

3 Words: Duck. Confit. Pizza.


Let’s be honest…words are really not necessary here.  So I’ll keep it short.  I love pizza.  I feel childish, immature, and a bit like a sheltered and naive teen saying this…as if I was not aware of the culinary adventures that exist out in the big wide world.  But I love pizza.  I’m not even that discriminating.  But the pizza that follows takes it to a ‘whole, ‘nother, level.’  (I’ll be impressed if you caught the MadTV reference!)

Dough recipe is courtesy of my brother…it’s super simple, does not take very long to prepare…and always results in extra thin and crispy pizzas.

Duck confit just waiting to be unearthed from its tomb of fat.  It’s a little buried treasure.

It took some restraint to not eat all the tasty morsels right as I shredded them.

We found some squash blossoms at the farmer’s market the day before, and decided they also belonged on pizza.

Mise en place.  Wild mushrooms – check.  Purple potato – check.  Petite zucchini + blossom – check.  Fresh tomato – check.

If I’ve learned one thing in pizza making…you should always start with a basic pizza.  You can make sure the pizza stone is hot enough, the dough is rolled thin enough…and it makes everybody drool for more.

Yep – there she is.  Duck. Confit. Pizza.

Complete with thinly sliced potato, red onion, wild mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, and topped with lightly dressed spinach.  It was all that we hoped it would be.  The high heat of the oven crisped every confit piece perfectly…reminiscent of bacon!

On to the next one.  Squash + blossom pizza.

Another Duck. Confit. Pizza.

And again…

The crispy crust, and rich duck contrasted nicely with the bite of onion and mellow flavor of the zucchini.

Yep, you guessed right…another duck confit pizza.

This was the last one.  Didn’t think Woody and I would eat 6 pizzas…but when there is duck confit involved…what are you going to do?  Seriously.

Good to the last bite.

*UPDATE*

In the words of my brother…the recipe is as follows:

Thin & Crispy Pizza Dough
2.25 c flour
.5 c water
1 t salt
2 packages yeast
1 egg
.5 t sugar

dissolve sugar in water & add yeast
mix flour, salt & egg in cuisinart, then add water through pouring hole
mix until sticky
put in oiled bowl and let rise at least 2 hours
makes 10-16 pizzas – depending on the size you need.
cook on pizza stone in 450 degree oven

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