Food Hero


Provencal Salad by appetista
December 19, 2008, 6:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Provencal Salad

C'est magnifique!

Tuna, tomatoes,

Yellow potatoes,

And green beans dress my plate.

Capers and oil,

Eggs from a boil,

This meal will be first rate.

This is the salad to save your Thursday night. By Thursday, the lettuce needs CPR, the fish was eaten days ago, and the curry paste is lying to you when it says it can make all the leftovers taste fresh again. What you need is something fresh, something jazzy, something that will convince your family to eat a few vegetables. This, my friend, is the salad for you. One of the reasons I like this salad is that there are some long steps in between. The eggs must boil, the potatoes must cook. This gives you ample opportunity to open a bottle of wine, relax, and enjoy cooking. The recipe says to use good quality canned Italian tuna. In my world, Bumblebee in oil is Italian. I’m sure Chicken of the Sea in oil would be Italian too.

(An aside – there are some luxuries in life that I don’t let myself try. I do this because I live in blissful ignorance of how inferior the cheaper stuff is. If I were to try real Italian tuna for $7 a can, I’m afraid I could never go back to $3 Bumblebee. Mozzarella cheese is the same for me, and so is vodka. Several years ago, I switched from canned black olives and jarred green olives with pimentos to the olive bar at the expensive grocery store. My life is better for it, but my wallet is not.)

This salad is incredibly easy to make as well. You don’t have to worry about judging the doneness of meat. There are no fine knife skills involved. What I’m trying to say is that if you make it through the first bottle of wine and onto the second, you will still have a fantastic dinner and avoid the emergency room. And that, my friends, is all you can ask for from a salad.

The recipe comes from Gourmet (July 2007) and makes about four servings in a little under an hour.

Provencal Salad

For dressing

¼ c white wine vinegar

2 t dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ t sugar

⅓ c extra-virgin olive oil

For salad

1 pound green beans, trimmed and halved

1 pound small (1- to 2-inch) yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold

2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained

12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

½ c pitted Kalamata olives

3 T rinsed drained bottled capers

½ c finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

4 hard-boiled large eggs, quartered

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, garlic, sugar, ½ t salt, and ¼ t peper, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Cook beans in a pot of boiling salted water (2 T salt for 6 quarts water), uncovered, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain beans and pat dry.

Add potatoes to boiling water and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 20 minutes, then drain. Halve potatoes while still warm.

Gently flake tuna and toss with 1 tablespoon dressing. Toss potatoes and beans with tomatoes, olives, capers, parsley, and remaining dressing in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and top with tuna and eggs.

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