By the time I got out of the hospital in mid-July, nearly half of the summer had already disappeared before my very eyes. It was extremely disconcerting to not have my usual summer tasks to tend to (gardening, putting food up for the winter, etc.), so I kept things fairly simple, trying to take my focus away from sweets and refined carbs, while trying to keep my protein levels up.
I started craving salads like crazy – one Saturday at the farmers market one of the farmers had small red potatoes and green beans packaged together, and what immediately came to mind was a recipe for Salad Nicoise that I had seen earlier that week on a television show. I hunted down the recipe, and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I have yet to try it with tuna, but it was fantastic with wild salmon.
recipe from Better Homes & Gardens
8 oz. fresh green beans (2 cups)
12 oz. tiny new potatoes, scrubbed and sliced (2 medium)
1 recipe Nicoise Dressing (recipe follows) or ½ c. bottled balsamic vinaigrette
Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
1 ½ c. flaked cooked tuna or salmon (8 oz) or one 9 ¼ oz. can chunk white tuna (water pack), drained and broken into chunks
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 hard cooked eggs, sliced
½ c. pitted ripe olives (optional)
¼ c. thinly sliced green onions (2)
4 anchovy fillets, drained, rinsed and patted dry (optional)
Fresh tarragon (optional)
Wash green beans; remove ends and strings. In a large saucepan cook green beans and potatoes, covered, in a small amount of lightly salted boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes or just until tender. Drain; place vegetables in a medium bowl. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
Prepare Nicoise Dressing. To serve, line 4 salad plates with lettuce leaves. Arrange chilled vegetables, fish, tomatoes, eggs and olives (if desired) on the lettuce-lined plates. Sprinkle each serving with green onions. If desired, top each salad with an anchovy fillet and garnish with tarragon. Shake dressing; drizzle over each salad. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
Nicoise Dressing: In a screw-top jar combine ¼ c. olive or salad oil, ¼ c. white wine vinegar or white vinegar, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. snipped fresh tarragon or ¼ tsp. dried tarragon (crushed), 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard, ¼ tsp. salt, and dash black pepper. Cover and shake well. Makes about ½ cup.
Nutrition: 348 cal, 17 g fat (3 g sat, 11g mono, 2g poly), 139mg chol, 228mg sod, 24g carb, 5g total sugar, 4g fiber, 24g protein.