Photo by Kerri Brewer
When I was fifteen, I spent the summer studying in Nice. I don’t think there was one day that passed when I didn’t have a Nicoise salad. I was obsessed with them and I couldn’t get enough. Looking back on it and the amount of mercury I ingested, it’s hard not to cringe. Still, I crave the epically large bowl of greens covered with crisp cooked veggies and salty goodness. This is my plant-based homage to the classic bistro staple. And the secret is in the vinaigrette. Don’t skip the pickled shallots steps. It’s the secret of any Parisian worth his fleur de sel.
1 head of bibb or boston lettuce (red leaf or romaine will do)
1 endive, sliced thin
1 small head of frisee, roughly chopped
1 cup of haricots verts, stems discarded
1/2 cup of Nicoise olives
1 cup of baby Yukon gold potatoes (red bliss will do)
1 cup of cannellini beans
1 teaspoon of herbs de provence
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1 shallot chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
1/4 cup of water
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, arrange lettuce. In 2 separate small pots, boil water. Add haricots verts and potatoes to pots and par boil each until they are cooked but not mushy. The haricots verts should take about 5 minutes and the potatoes should take about 10. Drain and cool. While veggies are cooling, in a small bowl, combine drained beans, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix until beans are well coated. Once vegetables are cool, arrange them in a circle on top of the lettuce. Add endive, red onion, radishes frisee, beans, tomato and olives.
In a small bowl, add chopped shallots and pour vinegar over shallots. Let sit for 15 minutes for shallots to gently pickle. Add dijon, oil, vinegar and water. Whisk well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.