Mediterranean Vegetable Salad (Salade Niçoise)
This dish, which originated in Nice, is a favorite entrée salad to make and eat on unbearably hot summer days. Because each vegetable is displayed on a bed of lettuce, you want to use the best-quality ingredients possible.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1⁄2-inch pieces
1 pound small red or new potatoes, scrubbed well
1 large head Boston or green leaf lettuce, washed and dried
2 cans (7 ounces each) tuna packed in olive oil or vegetable oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch slices
1⁄2 cup Niçoise or other brine-cured black olives
1 small red onion, cut into rings
1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄2 cup vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the greens beans and cook until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander. Add the potatoes and eggs to the hot water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and set the potatoes aside to cool. Peel and quarter the hard-boiled eggs and set aside.
Line a large serving platter or dish with the lettuce.
Mound the cooled green beans on one half of the platter and the potatoes on the other. Mound the tuna in the center. Place the eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and black olives around the beans and potatoes. Place the onion slices on top of the salad.
Add the thyme to the vinaigrette and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.