How to Make a Salad Nicoise

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Eco-friendly cookbook author and chef Louisa Shafia demonstrates one of her favorite salads, the classic French Salad Nicoise, using environmentally friendly tuna, farm-fresh eggs, steamed green beans, baby Yukon potatoes, nicoise olives, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, Boston lettuce and more veggies.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Luisa Shafia for Rachel Ray's Buddies on Ehow.com. Today, I'm going to make a classic Nicoise salad. This is a protein-build salad with tuna, eggs and anchovies and it's really filling and it makes a great lunch or dinner. So, to get started, I'm going to make a very simple vinaigrette. I'm going to start with some white wine vinegar; this has a nice light taste and some Dijon mustard for an authentic French taste. I'll put a few shallots in here; these are thinly sliced and I'm going to add some salt and pepper. Okay, so that's a very nice basic vinaigrette. Now, I'm going to start out my plates with a little bit of Boston lettuce. This is kind of a classic thing to do with a Nicoise salad; you want a mild tasting lettuce. So, you could use Romaine for this, any green that's nice and mild will work. If you want to get something a little healthier in there, you could use organic Kale leaves, you could use arugula; but the classic is Boston lettuce. Okay, so I'm going to lay a litle flavor down on my lettuce; so, I'm going to pour a little bit of vin, this vinaigrette on. Okay. Now, I get to lay on all kinds of different elements on my salad. So, these are baby Yukon potatoes that I just boiled; very, very simple, so I'm going to lay down several of these. This gives the salad a, a nice heft, it gives it sort of a sweet flavor, it gives it a little bit of a carb. Now, for something green, these are steamed green beans and these are really good. You just want to steam these until they're a little bit darker green color than when they're raw; but, you still want them to be nice and crisp. A lot of what's good about this salad is the texture. You want all kinds of different textures on here. So, some thing crispy, something soft; so, these string beans should have a lot of spring to them. Okay. Next, I'm going to put down some beautiful cherry tomatoes. You can use a large size tomato and just quarter it and put that on too, that's fine. I just like cherry tomatoes 'cause they're so pretty and they're so sweet. And just so there's flavor throughout, I'm going to salt this layer and pepper it too. Okay. Now, for some special Nicoise, olives. These are special, they are from Nice in France; that is where they originated, that's why they are called Nicoise olives. These are kind of like baby Kalamatas, and they're going to add a nice briny salty quality to this salad. Just a few of these guys on here. I'm also using some tuna on here, that's one of the key ingredients in a Nicoise salad. Now, I'm not a big user of tuna because unfortunately, a lot of tuna has high mercury content and it's been over-fish; so, there are a lot of different tuna populations such as Yellow Fin which are now endangered. But, this is Albacore tuna from the Pacific Ocean where there's an abundant supply of tuna and it's also caught in a sustainable way. These are some hard boiled eggs that I cooked off earlier. This is an essential part of a Nicoise salad. These are nice farm fresh eggs; you can see how yellow these yolks are. So, these are full of lots of good nutrients. Again, this is one of the elements that makes it nice and filling and protein-rich. And finally, this is a very nice Mediterranean element; I'm going to put on a few anchovies. These just get laid right on top. Now, if you're not an anchovy fan, which I know some people aren't; this might look scary; but I urge you to really give this a try. This is a wonderful way to add salt and flavor to whatever dish you're having. Yeah, they have a little bit of a briny, fishy taste; but, in the right context, they can really balance the flavors of a dish and that's what they do here. So, I'm just going to pull out a few more of these guys and these are really nice ones from, from a glass jar. Sometimes you're going to get these in a can, that's fine too. I always think it's nicer to get them in a jar because a lot of cans have BPA in them, that's Bisphenol A; that's a toxic substance. So, more and more I would encourage people to use products from glass jars instead of cans. Okay, so, here's my beautiful salad. I'm going to top it off with a little bit more of this vinaigrette that I made. Again, really simple; olive oil, white wine vinegar and shallots. Finish that off with a little bit more salt and pepper. And this looks gorgeous. Voila! I'm Luisa Shafia, thanks for joining me. See you next time on Ehow.com.

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