Some of the freshest tuna to hit Portland this year will be at the Hollywood Farmers Market this Saturday. Pacific albacore tuna is also one of the most eco-conscious choices seafood lovers on the west coast can make. Combined with the fact that almost all the ingredients of a salad Nicoise are available at the market right now and we know what’s for dinner!
Salad Nicoise is a hearty salad that make for a nice light dinner in the heat of summer. Fresh tuna loins, green beans, farm eggs, freshly dug potatoes, beautiful heads of lettuce, and vine-ripened tomatoes are all in abundance at the market right now and make up the majority of ingredients in this salad.
For an excellent salad Niçoise, make your own vinaigrette using a good extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice for the base. Check out Amie Edelstein’s recipe for a simple vinaigrette below. Season and dress each component of the salad individually for the best results. Make sure to use farm fresh eggs for the best flavor. Prepare all of the vegetables before cooking the potatoes and this salad will come together quite easily. Garnish with Nicoise olives or another small, black, brined olive (do not use canned olives). Anchovies are delicious but optional. Build your salad on a wide and flat serving platter and leave a little space between the mounds of salad components so that the lettuce is visible.
Amie Edelstein’s Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
1 small clove garlic
½ to 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (strained)
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Peel the garlic, chop it fine, and then turn it into a paste using the flat side of your knife blade (this is the best way to avoid getting a big bit of garlic in your mouth when using it raw in a recipe).
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and salt, and whisk together. Add just a little bit of the oil to the mixture, and whisk vigorously to combine. Add a little more oil, and whisk again. Continue adding a bit of oil and whisking vigorously until all the oil is added (this method helps the dressing stay together, instead of separating). Taste to make sure it’s not too acidic or not acidic enough, and to make sure it’s seasoned correctly. This makes about ¼ cup of vinaigrette, and will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.