Thursday, 16 August 2012

Nicoise style salad

I have moved! I'm still largely in the "can't be bothered to be inventive" phase, but I did have a flash of inspiration when we were fancying a salad. This is based on the classic Nicoise salad, which is usually served with tuna but can easily be fiddled with to make vegetarian. I used crumbly cheshire cheese, which is probably an english peculiarity. You could probably use feta, halloumi or any other cheese really, or you can add your favourite meat replacement.

Nicoise style salad

Serves 4

Takes about 30 minutes in all

300-350g bag of mixed salad leaves (depending how leafy you want it)

4 hard-boiled eggs (or you can boil them on the side along with preparing the rest)

750g baby new potatoes

6 medium-sized tomatoes

A jar of black or kalamata olives (you will most likely have spare)

200g green/french beans

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing. Flavoured oil goes nicely here.

175g cheshire cheese

* Set the water boiling for your potatoes (and a pan for the eggs if you're doing them now). Chop the potatoes and beans into bite-sized pieces.

* When the water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil for 15-20 minutes. I usually do 20 minutes.

* In the meantime, chop the tomatoes and cheese and add to a large salad serving bowl. Add the olives and stir around a bit.

* Add the salad leaves to the serving bowl and pour over a suitable amount of oil and vinegar fr dressing.

* When the potatoes have 5 minutes left to boil, add the beans to the potatoes.

* When the potatoes and beans are done, add to the serving bowl and toss everything together well. Peel the eggs and slice into quarters lengthways and arrange on plates before serving the salad.

If you want the salad completely cold the eggs, beans and potatoes will have to be cooked much further in advance. You can also add some chopped fresh herbs, such as chives and parsley. You can serve with a couple of slices of ciabatta bread, but you probably wont't need it!