Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nicoise Salad with Smoked Albacore Tuna

This week's Siren SeaSA drop was a delicious smoked albacore tuna loin! I was contemplating making a mayonnaise-based salad for sandwiches but another Siren-head recommended a Nicoise-type salad that sounded amazing. As Nicoise salads are one of the wife's standard summer fare, I thought I'd surprise her with one of my own.

Ingredients:
head of Bibb lettuce, washed and split into separate leaves
3/4 cup black olives, pitted
several spears of asparagus, roasted and chopped
several yukon gold potatoes, chopped and roasted
1/2 pound smoked albacore tuna, sliced then chopped
1 egg, hard-boiled

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and minced
fresh chives, minced
fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
kosher salt
fresh-cracked black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Roasted Potatoes:
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Chop the potatoes into 2-inch chunks. In a bowl coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put into a baking pan and cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until tender, stirring at least once during the cooking time for an even roasting. Remove from the oven then allow to cool a bit before serving.

Roasted Asparagus:
Slice off the hard ends of the asparagus spears.
In an overproof iron skillet, add the spears with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper along with a couple tablespoons water. Cover with foil, put into the hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and cook until the spears are tender and roasted, about 5-10 minutes more. Allow to cook a bit before serving.

Hard-Boiled Egg:
Put the egg into a small saucepan and completely cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the egg to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. Remove the egg and rinse under cold water, then remove the shell and slice into even halves.

Directions:
Combine the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar, close the lid tightly, and shake vigorously to emulsify.

Prepare the asparagus and potatoes as directed above.

The other ingredients can easily be combined into a nice presentation but when we do salads like this we prefer to just lay out the lettuce and combine them ourselves at the table, drizzling the vinaigrette on top.

Lay out the lettuce on the plate then just add what you like.