Salad Nicoise

This substantial salad is sunshine in a bowl and makes a great dinner accompanied with crusty bread and a crisp glass of rose or white wine.

Ingredients

350g ripe large tomatoes
50g Wild Garlic & Basil olives
110g rocket (stalks removed)
½ small cucumber (cut into small chunks)
450g new potatoes (cooked and sliced)
110g French beans (cooked and haled)
400g tuna steaks (cooked to your liking and cut into pieces/flaked)
4x shallots (peeled and finely chopped)
2x hard boiled eggs (peeled and quartered)
50g anchovy fillets

For the dressing:
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove (peeled)
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh herbs of your choice e.g chives, parsley, basil or chervil (finely chopped)
Black pepper to taste

Method

Firstly make the vinaigrette dressing. 

Crush the sea salt to a powder in a pestle and mortar and then add the garlic clove and pound them together. You should end up with a smooth paste. 

Next add the mustard powder and work it in to the paste. Then add the balsamic vinegar and some black pepper and mix thoroughly until all the salt has dissolved. Finally, add the olive oil and stir in the fresh herbs. 

Pour the dressing into a screw-top jar and shake vigorously so it’s thoroughly blended. Don’t worry if the dressing looks quite thick, it will spread itself nicely over the salad once added.

For the salad, firstly prepare the tomatoes. Place them in a bowl and pour over some boiling water. After a minute drain the water off and the tomato skins should easily peel off. Once the tomatoes are skinless, cut each tomato in half and then remove the seeds by placing them in the palm of your hand (cut side up) and turning upside down. The seeds should easily drop out but if you have trouble, squeeze the tomato gently in your hand and it should help. 

Once the tomatoes have been skinned and de-seeded, cut each tomato into quarters. 

Then, in a large salad bowl, arrange the tomatoes, rocket, cucumber, potatoes, beans, and shallots in layers drizzling some of the dressing over as you go. 

Next arrange the chunks of tuna, egg quarters and anchovies on top and finally scatter the olives. 

Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top of the salad and serve with crusty bread.  

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