I have such vivid memories of summers in France as a kid. We used to do a House-Swap with a family that lived in the city of Brest. You can imagine the fun us kids had saying the name of that city over and over…
The Food. I clearly remember falling in love with the food. Noticing field after field of Artichokes, men riding bikes with a Baguette under their arm, and huge bowls of Muscles being eaten by the River.
My experience of French food, as cooked by the ‘average Pierre’, is very simple and fresh. Clean but not afraid of fat and flavor.
Salad Nicoise is one of my very fave salads. I love how distinct each part of the salad is, It feels like such a ‘meal’ but it’s still light. Obviously the protein opportunity is huge in this salad too - a mega bonus in my world.
**This is a really great salad to meal prep. I love to prep each component of the salad and just keep it all in separate little containers. Easy to build a healthy lunch without a lot of work!
2 cups Butter Lettuce
2 cups Arugula
a handful of Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 a Red Onion, slivered
2 handful of Green Beans, blanched
10-15 little new Potatoes, boiled
1/2 cup Kalamata Olives
Soft Boiled Eggs
1lb Salmon, I like to use a pre-made Honey Smoked Salmon from Trader Joes or Costco.
( Dijon+Maple Dressing)
To Blanch Green Beans:
- Drop the Green Beans into a pot of boiling water. Let them simmer for just a couple minutes, they will turn a very bright green. Once you see that happen, drain them immediately and then plunge into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process.
To Boil Potatoes:
- No need to peel them, just given them a little wash. Add potatoes to a pot of boiling water and allow to boil into they are fork tender. Maybe about 10 mins. Then drain them and allow to cool in the colander so they’re just warm to the touch.
To Make Soft Boiled Eggs:
- In yet another pot, get 3inches of water boiling. Gently drop the eggs into the water, add in a drizzle of olive oil, and set the timer for 6 minutes. At exactly 6 minutes, drain the eggs and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking.
Once they are cool, you can just slice them in half with a knife then scoop the jammy egg 1/2 out of the shell.
To assemble the Salad:
On a large Platter, layer the Lettuce and Arugula.
Working in little rows, arrange each ingredients.
Mix up a batch of that amazing ‘Something to Bragg About Dressing’ and put it in a pretty bowl on the side of the salad.
I like to serve the Dressing and Salmon on the side, so each can take if they like.
Enjoy al Fresco with a crusty Baguette and white Wine.