Friday, May 13, 2011

An American Twist on French Nicoise Salad

I wish I could be nibbling on this salad while sitting at a cafe on the Left Bank near the Eiffel Tower.  Traveling to France is still on my bucket list but it doesn't look promising at the moment.  But never say never is my motto.

The truth be told I made this last week as the weather began to warm up in between our Spring snowstorms!  I can't wait to wander around my yard while picking some of these fresh ingredients from my veggie patch!   The lettuce and spinach are sprouting.  I need to plant the radish seeds soon, but I've never had much luck with green beans.  Last year they were gobbled up by the critters, such as rabbits and squirrels! 

Looking for more green beans!

I've been working on my husband in regards to a chicken coop, but that idea flew away along with the goats to make my own cheese!  He says I'd name each chicken and then I wouldn't be able to "part" with them when the time came for roasting.  He's probably right!  Yes, I should have been a farmer...

I made this nicoise type salad without the classic tuna it calls for.  I added a few of my favorites, aromatic fennel, crunchy radishes and cooked french lentils for more protein and called it a meal!  I didn't measure anything.  Just get a nice platter and start piling on your ingredients.  I chose:

bed of spinach

cut up radishes, slices of fennel and shallots

blanched, steamed or roasted green beans

halved hard boiled eggs

about 1 cup of cooked lentils

sprinkle of goat cheese

drizzle of classic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1/2 cup pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

3/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp Emeril's kicked up mustard

pepper, pinch

Warm the vinegar and dissolve the sugar over low heat.  Pour into a jar and cool slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients.  Add the oil, mustard and pepper to the jar, cover and shake. Refrigerate to chill.  Drizzle a small amount on salad or individual serving.  Bon Appetite!

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