It's been the summer of the salad. The cool weather has provided our farm and CSA box with much more lettuce than anyone probably ever imagined possible. There was a point in time when hubby and I were eating mammoth salads for lunch and dinner plus green smoothies for breakfast and snacks.
(Jump to the recipe...)
At first, it was daunting looking at our extra large Ikea BLANDA bowl filled almost entirely with lettuce; but after an initial period of shock and awe, resignation ensued, and eventually we began to embrace and enjoy our temporary vegetarianism. So much so that even after the waves of lettuce began to abate, we continued exploring having salads or salad inspired dishes for our main meal.
I subbed out the potatoes for pasta in this version of salad Nicoise to better appeal to my little eaters and to reduce the cooking time... since dinner is never ready fast enough for my hungry monsters. I think the dish could have used some cherry tomatoes as well, but our garden was not producing a few weeks ago when I made this salad so we had to make due... and use more olives instead!
The pasta salad turned out wonderfully and the kids enjoyed it since I made their bowls more pasta than veg (as seen above). Our bowls had the extra olives :)
And now that the potatoes are really starting to come in our CSA box plus having seen Gordon Ramsey's super yummy looking Nicoise on Masterchef last night, I may have to make the real thing.
1/2 - 1 lb orecchiete, cooked in well salted water*
1/2 lb beans, trimmed, blanched and cut into bite size pieces
240 grams good quality tuna (I like packed in olive oil)
1 jar (375ml) kalamata olives (or nicoise olives), pitted and chopped
1 pepper, diced
4-6 hard-boiled eggs, for serving
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp capers, minced
5-6 Tbsp olive oil
*I think this salad would be best with the 1/2 pound of pasta but my kids would disagree.
- In the bottom of your serving bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Salt to taste.
- Layer on your pasta salad ingredients. Use more or less pasta (or of any ingredient) to make it up to your taste!
- Toss and serve with sliced/chopped hard boiled eggs. Flavours will meld and deepen as the pasta sits... so let if sit if possible.