Friday, April 27, 2012

Operation Pantry Cleanout: Nicoise Salad

I was looking for ways to use up a can of tuna (other than the obvious) when my friend Clare recommended a Niçoise salad. She makes this regularly for a quick and healthy dinner and now I can see why. It's a one pot meal and it's delicious. I loved it and will most definitely make it again.

I didn't use all of the ingredients for dinner so I combined everything (sans lettuce) in a bowl with some salad dressing, tossed it and stored it in the fridge. The next day I tossed it with more lettuce and dressing and lunch was ready in 2 minutes. I could have just as easily, and happily, eaten it without the lettuce and had a potato salad style lunch ready in 0 minutes. But, I needed to use up the leftover lettuce.

I know what you're thinking - this is a lot of work to use up one can of tuna. But... I got to (a) use a can of tuna (b) try a new recipe (c) have a delicious dinner and (d) have leftovers for lunch. I love Operation Pantry Cleanout.

If you don't like tunafish, skip it and you'll still have a salad with great flavor. 

Operation Pantry Cleanout Nicoise Salad

1 can good quality tuna, drained
4 or 5 eggs
6-8 baby red potatoes
2 handfuls fresh green beans
1-2 heads Butter or Bibb lettuce
1/2 cup nicoise olives (I prefer nicoise but they have pits, which is the pits when eating this salad and having to eat around them)
2 T capers

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 t minced shallot
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a glass jar and shake vigorously until it's emulsified. Set aside.

Put your eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with water covering up to one inch above. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Cover pan let stand for 8 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. Put in fridge until cool enough to peel.

Meanwhile, put the pot back on the burner and return to a boil. Add salt and boil green beans for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath. Next add baby red potatoes. Cook for roughly 15 minutes, until you can easily stick them with a fork. Remove from the water, run under cold water to cool slightly. Cut into quarters or eights, then toss with some vinaigrette while still warm (absorbs more that way). Place in fridge to cool.

Cut cooled green beans into 1.5" pieces. Put tuna, beans, potatoes, olives, and capers into a bowl and toss with some dressing. Add lettuce and more dressing. Toss again. Plate and top with hard boiled eggs (cut into quarters or eights). Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

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