The first time I ordered a salad as an appetizer here in the USA, I was a bit surprised to see all the things that was included. There was cheese, various vegetables, nuts, even meat amid the greeny leaves. In France, when you order a green salad as an appetizer, it is usually a very plain salad. It does not include many vegetables. I think the reason is because a salad is usually eaten as a ” cleanser” between the main meal and the cheese/ or dessert.
When we eat generous salads such as those we know here in the USA ( Chef SAlad), they are replacing a meal. Those salads are found on lunch menus in the summer, and they rarely have lettuce as their main base. There are two popular salad that you will see on menus in the summer: Salade composee which often has rice as its main base, and salade nicoise that is made with steamed potatoes, steamed green beans, fresh onions and tomatoes. There are millions of recipes out-there, but the traditional one includes red purple onions, artichokes, anchovies, eggs and tuna.
Growing up, it seemed that when we had left-over potatoes, this is what my mom made. I will tell you that I ate so much of it that it took me a while to make it again. But tonite since I had small quantities of everything, it occured to me that I could make a warm salade nicoise for my dinner with what i had in my fridge.
The French Salade Nicoise is seasoned with a traditional red white vinaigrette but I gave it my twist.
Ingredients for 4:
- 12 small red potatoes
- about 2 cups bag of fresh green beans or haricots verts
- 1/2 purple onions sliced very thinly.
- 1 box of baby tomatoes
- 2 filet of tuna sashimi
- 4 tbsp ol balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 2-3 tsp of smokehouse maple herb mix from Costco.
- 1/4. tsp of sea salt.
Rinse the potatoes very well and place them in the large round mold. Add a dash of salt, and a tsp of water. Cover the round mold and cook in the microwave for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked but still firm. Let the potatoes cool and then slice them in narrow slices. Set aside. Then place about 2 cups of green beans or haricots verts in the round mold, cover the round mold again with the octogonal silpat and cook for 5 minutes. Set the beans aside.
On a plate, sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the maple and lay the tuna into the smokehouse maple seasoning so that it will be covered with the spice. Repeat this process on all sides.
Place a small frying pan on a hot stove at medium-high, and add 1/2 tbsp of butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the tuna steak and sear it for 1 minute. Season with some salt. Turn it over and repeat so as to sear all sides. Remove the tuna from the pan and set it aside.
In the same frying pan, add the sliced onions and cook them until they are becoming a golden brown. Throw in the pan the balsamic vinegar, the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the maple seasoning, and bring to boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the sliced potatoes, the beans, the fresh tomatoes and stir. Cook this mixture for only 1 minute or 2. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Toss. Plate the “salad” on plates. Slice the tuna in narrow slices, lay them over the salad. Drizzle more sauces over the tuna, et voila!!!
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!