Lunchbox Worthy, Salads, Vegetable Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Niçoise-Inspired Potato Salad

This time last year: RaspberryBlueberry Shortcakes and Blueberry Gumbo

August is my favourite month for eating!  Mostly right now I’m gorging on the huge raspberries at Gatehill Farm, finding new uses for Swiss Chard daily and eyeing my garden for the first ripe tomatoes. At Nova Scotian farm markets it is high season for cucumbers, broccoli, green and yellow and Roma beans, kale, basil and the first carrots and potatoes.  With all this abundance, it is our duty to get into the kitchen and whip up some delicious, indulgent, once-a-year high-summer meals!  With that in mind, I give you this lovely potato salad.  Nicoise Salad is a classic French salad, usually “composed”, meaning that all the ingredients are beautifully arranged.  It contains potatoes, beans, tuna, eggs, capers, olives, sometimes anchovies, and fresh herbs dressed with vinaigrette.  This is a simplified version, though you could certainly add any of what I’ve left out.  I love how the yolk of the egg enriches the simple dressing.

Niçoise-Inspired Potato Salad

3 lb. small New Potatoes
4 Eggs
1 lb. Green or Yellow Beans, trimmed and snapped in half
4 T. Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 clove Garlic
2 T. Dijon Mustard
1/4 t. Salt
Freshly ground Pepper
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 C. slivered Red Onion
1/4 C. Chopped Parsley
2 Cans Tuna, left in chunks (optional)
Handful of fresh Basil, shredded (optional)

Cut the potatoes in half if they are larger than 1″ and place in a pot with the eggs and 2 t. salt.  Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and fill the pot with cold water to cool the eggs and potatoes quickly, then drain.  Steam or boil the beans until just tender.  Peel the eggs and cut into eighths.  Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and plenty of pepper in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, beans, eggs, tomatoes, red onion and parsley and toss well in the dressing.  Taste for seasoning, then add the optional tuna and toss again gently.  Top with the basil if using, and another good grind of pepper.  This is lovely served right away, while still slightly warm, or
chilled in the refrigerator for up to three days.