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Classic French Nicoise salad
Classic French Nicoise salad

Salmon Nicoise

July 4, 2007

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Serves 6

Make this with leftover salmon, or cook the salmon especially for this dish. To assemble the different components -- salmon, potatoes, green beans, and hard-cooked eggs -- imagine that you're planting a perennial garden. Each color should go on the platter in two or three places, or make individual salads.

VINAIGRETTE

1tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2teaspoon pepper, or more to taste
1/4cup white wine vinegar
1/2cup olive oil
1. In a bowl, whisk the mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the vinegar.

2. When the salt dissolves, whisk in the oil 1 tablespoon at a time until the dressing emulsifies.

SALMON AND VEGETABLES

1 1/2pounds boneless fresh salmon, cooked and flaked into large pieces (about 6 cups)
Juice of 1 lemon
12small red potatoes, thickly sliced
2tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2pounds green beans
6eggs
4scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2cup green or black Nicoise olives
1/4cup large capers, drained

1. On a plate, sprinkle the salmon all over with the lemon juice. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette on the salmon; set aside.

2. In a large saucepan fitted with a steamer insert, bring several inches of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, cover, and steam over high heat for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Transfer them to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the vinegar, salt, and pepper; set aside.

3. Rinse the saucepan and refill it with water and the steamer insert. Bring the water to a boil, add the green beans and cover the pan. Steam over high heat for 3 minutes or until the beans are crisp and just tender. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water; set aside.

4. Empty the saucepan and refill it with water. Bring the water to a boil. Prick a hole in the rounded end of each egg. Use a slotted spoon to lower the eggs into the water. Stir them gently until the water returns to a boil. Lower the heat and let the water bubble gently for 10 minutes exactly. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. One by one, tap them on the counter and remove a thick band of shell from each egg. Return them to the water until the eggs are cold. Peel the remaining shell.

5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette onto the potatoes. Sprinkle them with scallions and parsley.

6. Drain the beans and pat them dry with paper towels. Transfer to a bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

7. In a bowl, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette.

8. On a 14-to-16-inch platter, set the salmon in 3 places, mounding it. Set potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes in a similar fashion. Spoon a little vinaigrette over the fish and vegetables. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper.

9. Garnish the platter with olives and capers. Halve the eggs and arrange them on the platter. Sheryl Julian & Julie Riven