I love Nicoise salad. And I love using up leftovers, just as much as I hate recipes with lots of fussy steps. Many recipes for Nicoise salad involve steaming green beans, boiling potatoes and eggs, and other redundant activities. Named for the Nicoise olives from Nice in France, this is a great summer meal and can be made quickly from leftovers if you plan ahead.
Make vinaigrette by mixing a few spoonfuls of Dijon or grainy mustard with about ¼ cup lemon juice and balsamic or wine vinegar, salt and pepper and fresh or dried herbs. Whisk in about ½ cup olive oil and set aside (you probably want about ¾ cup altogether). Hint: Make vinaigrette part of your routine so you always have some on hand. It keeps well in the fridge and is ready at a moments notice.
Boil some red or new potatoes, the small ones with the thin skin. Peel if you wish or just scrub. When tender, cool until you can handle them. Slice and toss with some of the dressing. Hint: Next time you cook red or new potatoes, fix a few extra and plan to have Nicoise salad soon.
Steam some green beans and other vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, then cool and dress with the vinaigrette. Hint: See those potatoes? Ditto the green beans, broccoli or asparagus.
Slice red or yellow peppers, raw zucchini, radishes, celery, carrots, green or red onion, garbanzo beans, and add some of the dressing. Use any vegetables you like or have on hand. The dressed vegetables can stand in the fridge a few hours of a day or two, until needed. Hint: Those last few - if you dress the veg with the vinaigrette and keep it in the fridge until needed, your salad can be assembled in seconds.
Cook a few eggs by placing them in a pan of cold water, bringing slowly to a boil, simmer about a minute or two then cover and turn off the heat and let stand 13 minutes. Cool in cold water. Hint: You know where this is going, right? You guessed it. Make egg salad or eggs for potato salad and fix a few extra.
To make the salad, for each serving, line a plate with washed and dried salad greens. Scatter over the top the green beans, asparagus, and other vegetables. You can place them in sections or mix them all up. Place a small can (or half a regular sized can) of drained tuna on top and garnish with slices or wedges of tomato and hard cooked egg. Look for Italian tuna packed in olive oil. (You can also use a small fillet of grilled or seared tuna).
Top off the whole thing with a generous handful of Nicoise black olives, or any cured black olives such as Kalamata. Drizzle any extra dressing over the top and season with Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Make a family sized version by increasing the amounts accordingly and arranging on a large platter.
Quotable Quotes; in the category What Can I Have For dinner - - - Or What Can I Remember Having Had For Dinner?
“Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.”
Thomas Fuller, 17th century author.