NIÇOISE SALAD WITH CHERRY-MINT VINAIGRETTE

by Chef Scotty


RISE & SHINE  KAUT43  OKC

5.31.16

You know, there are hundreds of variations on the Niçoise salad, and I applaud all the real attempts at making this classic salad fit into whatever restaurant, banquet, quiet night at home thing you have going on. It’s your Niçoise so do your thing… but keep it light, crisp, cold, with flavors of the south of France, and you will be A-OKAY in my book. 

 

Now when it comes to the dressing, a vinaigrette is a must. No Ranch, Thousand Island, or your mom's homemade “fancy-Sauce”, but a delicious flavorful vinaigrette. My choice is something that I used in "Scotty’s"  Restaurant in Nichols Hills Plaza wayyyyy back in the day, and that’s my Cherry Mint Vinaigrette. My updated version that is.

 

 

Ingredients:

1 head of lettuce, chopped, rinsed and dried (Boston or Bibb)

A good handful of torn spinach, stemmed and washed

4 vine-ripped tomatoes, cut into wedges

5-7 small potatoes (red, fingerling, multi heirloom)

6 hard cooked eggs

1/2 pound haricot verts (French green beans)

2 cans of good quality tuna packed in olive oil, such as albacore, drained

Niçoise olives, or any good briny flavorful olives (not the black or green rubbery stuff in a can)

Caper berries 

 

 

Make: 

 

  1. The Green Beans: Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots and blanch approximately 5 minutes until the color has brightened and they've cooked a bit. Immediately drain and shock in ice cold water. This holds the color and stops the cooking process
  2. Hard Cooked Eggs: Everyone should know how to hard cook an egg… so here goes: Place large size eggs in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Cover the eggs with cold water, about 1-inch over the top and add salt. Heat the water on high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid for approximately 9 minutes. Drain off the hot water and add cold water and ice to stop the cooking and cool them down. Peel eggs when ready. 
  3. The Potatoes: My rule… “Fork Tender” means fork tender… not knife tender. Wash the potatoes, add to a pot of salted water, and bring them to a boil. Cook approximately 12 minutes (depending on the size and variety of your potatoes), and cook to fork-tender. Pierce with a fork… if the fork tines go in easily, they’re done. Pour out the water and shock in ice water as mentioned above. 
  4. On a platter or individual plates, lay out the greens for the base of your salad. Add all the accompaniments generously, and beautifully on your salad. *I prefer tossing the potatoes in my vinaigrette first before plating.
  5. Drizzle on my Cherry-Mint Vin (recipe below) and serve right away! Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Cherry-Mint Vinaigrette (the shaker jar method) 

 

1/4 cup natural cherry juice (pomegranate juice works great too)

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “Persian Rub” Seasoning 

1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar 

10 fresh mint leaves , rolled and chopped

1 shallot minced 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

1/2 cup grapeseed or light olive oil 

 

Add all the ingredients into a jar and screw on the lid tightly. Shake Shake Shake until well combined. Pour over your salad as needed.