Sunday, February 27, 2011

Not Your Mama's Nicoise Salad

This isn't really a Nicoise Salad - the French classic that combines potato, tomato, green beans, olives, boiled egg and tuna but its construction reminds me of it and so I can't help but group them together. Nicoise Salad is more meal than starter and it is the perfect lunch for a lazy afternoon. This is also the perfect dish to bring along to a BBQ because it beautifully balances out plate after plate of meaty bar-b-que goodness. You can include a meat like tuna in the original or grilled chicken in my version or just keep this strictly vegetarian.... there are so many ways to make this meal very complete!

This dish can be served warm (against the rules for the classic) just take care to have all the vegetables ready to go at once or prep in advance and store it chilled for an easier to serve option. Feel free to use my suggestions or you can always customize your salad based on what you have on hand. The only requirement is that it tastes delicious. This version is far from the traditional salad but that is what I love about it!

This salad included: (L to R)
Oven Roasted Beets
Sugar Snap Peas
Oven Roasted Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower
Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
Grilled Chicken Breast
Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
Mini Baby Potatoes
Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers

and I served it with a Roasted Garlic through for the recipe

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
5 cloves or garlic - roasted and smashed
2 tbsp red wine vinager
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley - finely diced 
1) In a small bowl - wish all ingredient together rapidly until dressing thickens
2) If you store dressing it will separate and need to be shaken or whisked again