A few years ago Daniel and I were having lunch at a nice resort on vacation and he informed me he was going to order a salad—the “nick-oh-eez” salad. I did my best not to laugh at his mispronunciation, partly because it was just so sweet and cute and earnest, and partly because I just wanted to hear him say it in front of the waiter. Now, this may seem a bit cruel, but I should mention that Daniel has ribbed me for years about the time I called beignets “bay-nets.” Unfortunately, he foiled my plan when he ended up deciding on a sandwich at the last minute. But today, whenever I see a nicoise salad on the menu I always look his way and say “mmm, I think I’m going to order the “nick-oh-eez.”
Nicoise is actually pronounced “nee-swahz” and it makes a fabulous, packed-with-flavor summer meal. In my version, I used Dole Organic Kale Mix, which has a combination of organic baby kale, baby spinach, and red and green chard. I love baby kale because it’s tender (doesn’t need massaging!) and less bitter tasting than mature kale. This mix of greens is the perfect backdrop for the other ingredients—it’s flavorful but not overwhelmingly earthy.
Since this is a nicoise salad after all, I had to top it with the traditional ingredients: green beans (haricot verts), potatoes, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, and tuna. This combo makes for such a hearty, delicious meal, I know I’ll be making it all summer long.