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.
- 10 small red potatoes about 1 pound
- ½ pound fresh green beans or haricot verts ends trimmed
- 1 5- ounce package Dole Organic Kale Mix
- 2 5- ounce cans solid white albacore drained and flaked
- 3 medium tomatoes each cut into 6 wedges
- 3 hard-boiled eggs quartered lengthwise
- ½ cup black olives
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Put potatoes in a steamer basket fitted inside a large pot over 1 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Add the green beans and steam, covered, 10 more minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender and the green beans should be tender but still crisp. Drain and let them cool.
- While the potatoes and green beans are cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the olive oil and whisk until combined.
- On a large platter, arrange the kale mix. Arrange the tuna, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, eggs, and olives over the lettuces. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve!