Easy Composed Salad — A Taste of France
A traditional French composed salad is usually artfully arranged on a platter versus tossed, creating an elegant presentation. It is easy to make with much of the prep work done ahead of time, so it is a great salad for a dinner party or weeknight meal.
While a truly authentic Niçoise (pronounced nee-swaaz) salad uses raw vegetables, a light dressing and only one cooked item – boiled eggs; the famed Auguste Escoffier whose name is synonymous with French cuisine was the first to introduce boiled potatoes and steamed haricot verts which are now commonplace in this salad.
In my version of Salad Niçoise, I decided to BE BRAVE, so along with the typical creamy potatoes, crisp green beans, crunchy radishes, juicy tomatoes and briny olives and capers; I went non-traditional and used chopped rotisserie chicken instead of tuna, and topped it with a zing of citrus dressing. I captured everything I love about this classic French composed salad with a little Chef Veera twist!
This is a perfect spring salad — add a slice or two of grilled bread and it is a meal in itself!
1 lb red skinned baby potatoes
10 oz haricot verts or thin green beans, trimmed
4 large eggs
4 radishes, sliced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons capers
2 ½ cups cooked chopped chicken
1 head Boston lettuce (can also use spring green mix)
¼ cup O&V Marc de Champagne vinegar *
½ shallot, minced – about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons O&V Lemon Dill Mustard *
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste
¾ cup O&V Single Estate EVOO *
Slice or halve (if small) potatoes and place in a pan with cold water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and drizzle with a teaspoon of Marc de Champagne vinegar
In a separate pan boil salted water. Fill a bowl with salted ice water. Add the green beans to the boiling water, cook for 2-3 minutes, drain, and add to the salted ice water
In a small pot bring ½ inch water to the boil in a small pan. Add the eggs, reduce heat and simmer covered for 7-9 minutes. Pour off the hot water, gently shake eggs in the pan to crack and fill the pan with ice cold water. Let sit for one minute, remove, peel and halve or quarter.
Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.
Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Add about 2-3 tablespoons dressing to the potatoes and toss.
Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Arrange the potatoes, haricots verts, radishes, hard-cooked eggs and chicken on top. Pour any juices from the tomatoes into the dressing, then, add the tomatoes to the plates. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the olives and capers.
Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
* I love out versatile Marc de Champagne vinegar with it is light, slightly sweet and crisp taste. You can substitute with a high-quality Chardonnay wine vinegar if you prefer.
* The Lemon Dill mustard adds unique lemony flavor to this dressing. A good Dijon mustard will change the flavor, but can be used as a substitute.
* I love the robustness and health benefits of our Single Estate EVOO’s. You can substitute with another high antioxidant, low acidity EVOO.
Categories: Soups & Salads, Vegetarian Option, Dairy Free, Home-Made, Mediterranean Diet, Provencal Olives, Tuscan Olives, Lemon Dill Mustard, Marc de Champagne Vinegar, French, Composed Salad, Niçoise Salad, Single Estate EVOO, Rotisserie Chicken, Haricot Verts, Green Beans, Red Potato, Eggs, Capers, Salad as a Meal, Dinner Salad, Easy Entertaining,