A Light Dinner After a Heavy Lunch

James came down to visit this weekend, so we had to take him to our now favorite Burger Spot for a burger at lunchtime.

James with burger in one hand and phone in the other. How does he do that?

Knowing that we would be too full for a regular meal at dinner we elected to make Salad Nicoise, which Laura will readily tell you is her favorite salad and which she will always order at a restaurant if she can. However it is simplicity itself to make at home especially if you have (like we did) some leftover boiled new potatoes and green beans that we picked up at the Medford Farmer’s Market last Thursday and had with some local Steelhead Trout (that is a story for another time.)

There probably is some classic rendition for Salad Nicoise, but it always comes with boiled red potatoes, green beans, boiled eggs and tuna. We got some wonderful spicy salad greens at the Farmer’s Market and we used those, but any leafy green will do, just don’t use iceberg lettuce! We like to arrange everything on a large platter and let diners select what they like and serve themselves, but you can do it any way you wish.

Here is our recipe, feel free to adjust ingredients as you see fit. Because it has starch and protein, it serves very well as a main course.


Serves: 4

Nicoise Salad


1 pound, red potatoes – sliced 1/3 inch thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons, dry white wine
10 ounces, green beans – trimmed
4 large, eggs
1/4 cup, white wine vinegar
1/2 shallot – minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons, dijon mustard
1 tablespoon, chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup, extra-virgin olive oil
4 tomatoes – halved or quartered
1 head, Boston lettuce – leaves separated
12 artichoke hearts – quartered
2 cans, tuna in water, canned – (5 1/2 ounce) drained
1/2 cup, olives – preferably Nicoise
1/2 english cucumber – peeled and sliced


  1. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan; cover with cold water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl; drizzle with the wine and let cool. Reserve the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a separate saucepan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with salted ice water. Add the haricots verts to the boiling water; cook until crisp-tender and bright green, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water to cool; drain and pat dry.
  3. Place the eggs in the reserved saucepan and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water to cool. Peel under cold running water.
  4. 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.
  5. Toss the tomatoes in a small bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/4 cup dressing to the potatoes and toss. Quarter the hard-cooked eggs.
  6. Divide the lettuce among 4 plates. Arrange the potatoes, haricots verts, artichokes, cucumber, hard-cooked eggs and tuna 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.


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