Thursday, September 24, 2015

Salad Nicoise with Grilled Salmon

It was very hot this past Monday in the Bay Area and many cities had record high temperatures. I enjoyed working on my recipe development at home.

I have a new personal kitchen assistant, Mayra, who has been working with me the last few weeks. She does a good job prepping, cleaning and organizing, and also can do things quite neatly like cleaning and folding napkins and kitchen towels. I love her work and am lucky to have found her.

Plus she is fun to work with. She told me she loves my food and that I am the best chef in America. What a great compliment from such a pretty woman! In return for her, I quickly made Salade Nicoise (yes I am so fast! ...especially with her help). We had a nice meal together in the backyard for our lunch break.

Salade Nicoise is my all-time favorite composed salad. I had leftover grilled salmon filet from the previous dinner, so I added it to the salad along with filet of anchovies (no tuna for this salad), and served it with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead of the usual Aioli (Provencal garlic mayonnaise). I used Lucero Organic Farms tomatoes (Early Girl), Heirloom Organics cute potatoes, and super fresh eggs from Cozzolino's... they were only 2 days old. They are excellent  products. I got everything from the Menlo Park farmers market on Sunday. It was very, very beautiful and delicious!

We also had my favorite bread -- Semifreddi’s sourdough seeded baguette. I don't like sourdough bread in general, but this is one exception. It is the most tasty bread available in the San Francisco/ Bay Area. That is just my opinion, but you can believe me. Semifreddi's sourdough baguette is available at Trader Joe’s, Wholefoods Market and other markets.

Salade NiƧoise
(Serves 4)


For the balsamic vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
1 can of good tuna, like solid albacore 
16 anchovy filets
½ pound of green beans, cooked
1 pound of small Yukon or Dutch potatoes, boiled to tender and cut in quarters
1 each small red and orange bell pepper, cut in strips (optional)
1 small red or white onion, finely sliced (optional)
1 pound of small ripe tomatoes, cut in quarters
4 fresh farm eggs, semi-hard boiled, cooled then peeled and quartered
1/2 cup Nicoise olives or kalamata olives
1 lemon cut in quarters

To make the vinaigrette:
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, garlic, salt and vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil in a thin stream to emulsify the mixture.  Season to taste with salt (if necessary) and freshly ground black pepper.

Assembling the salad:
In a large serving bowl or 4 individual bowls or plates, arrange all your salad ingredients the way you like. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.


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