Smoked Salmon Niçoise

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After Thanksgiving it took a few days to awaken from my self-induced pimento cheese coma but I had to get my act together for a small family gathering at our new place for brunch. It was nothing fancy, just bagels, smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese with shallots and capers, and a frittata to share.

I made a point to purchase an excessive amount of smoked salmon so that there would be leftovers for me to nibble on all week. Surprisingly, I grew weary of having smoked salmon and cream cheese on toast after a few mornings and quickly realized I needed to figure out a new way to get through the rest. In an effort to eat as healthy as possible during the work week (so we can go crazy at holiday related activities on the weekends) I decided to make one of my husband’s favorite dishes, salad niçoise.

Salad niçoise is typically composed of tomatoes, tuna, hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies, topped off with a vinaigrette dressing – and lettuce is completely optional. I substituted the tuna for my smoked salmon leftovers and added some roasted fingerling potatoes as well as blanched haricots verts. While we are both big fans of anchovies, I didn’t have any on hand so I used a bit of capers for a little extra saltiness.

I love all of the individual flavors in this salad but it is really important to choose a dressing that will marry all of the ingredients together. I highly recommend making your own vinaigrette or using Penzey’s Country French seasoning. If you’ve got some crazy time on your hands you can mix together sugar, brown mustard, salt, garlic, black pepper, lemon, onion, tarragon, white pepper, chives, thyme and rosemary.

The salad turned out great for dinner; it’s incredibly filling and satisfying, not to mention delicious. That said, I think it would be even better to serve at a brunch party partly because of its pretty presentation but mainly because the entire time I was eating it I realized the only thing I was missing was a mimosa!

 

Grocery List

For the salad

Smoked salmon

Fingerling potatoes – roasted

Haricots verts – blanched

Tomatoes – chopped

Kalamata olives

Capers

Boston red lettuce

Frisée

Hard boiled eggs

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

For the dressing

1-2 tablespoons Penzey’s Country French seasoning

2 tablespoons water

1/3 cup champagne vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

 

How To

For the salad

Assemble all of the ingredients in a salad bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper and country French vinaigrette.

For the dressing

Mix 1-2 tablespoons seasoning with 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then add 1/3 cup champagne vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil. Blend with an immersion blender until emulsified.

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