I know it's a bit arsey to say it, but I really do go a bit nuts for a great salad when the weather gets warmer. I think a salad with the right elements can hit an umami bullseye. Layers of flavors made by piling the different ingredients high and then hacking away at them until you have created a carpet of salad, with each bite filled to the brim with different flavors. A salad's ingredients should not be polite to each other, I'm looking for a vibrant salad that is a riot of flavor. A party for the tastebuds perhaps?
This salad really is a good one. Each bite comes with that umami Aaaahhh. Waxy new potatoes, salty feta cheese, crunchy radishes, creaminess of chopped eggs, the bite of the tuna. It's worth it to buy really good tuna in olive oil for this salad. The dill and the flat leaf parsley make the last lap across the tongue and cause you to dive back in for more. Start by giving each separate element a rough chop and then pile them all together and keep chopping, tossing here and there. Finally, drizzle and spoon the dressing ingredients on top and give another toss. It makes a bit of a mess, but it's very satisfying.
O.K. perhaps I'm getting a big carried away about salad, but it's the time of year to lose your head and enjoy all the delights of the best ingredients tasting just as they should.
Chopped Nisçoise Salad
- 2-3 small heads of gem lettuce or 1 large head of romaine
- 1 bunch of radishes, greens, heads and tails removed
- 5-7 red, new potatoes, scrubbed and parboiled
- 2-3 eggs, hard boiled
- 1 can of tuna in water or olive oil
- 1 package of feta, drained
- 1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley and dill each
- A glug of good olive oil,
- A glug of white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon
- A big dollop of dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
Put the potatoes in a pot of very salty water and boil until they are tender. Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the eggs for 6-7 minutes until hard boiled. Wash and spin dry all the vegetables. Remove tops and tails.
Drain and cool the potatoes. Peel the eggs.
Roughly chop up the lettuce head. Roughly chop the radishes, potatoes, eggs and feta. Pile all of these on top of each other and crumble the feta and tuna on top. Pour over the indregients of the dressing. Chop again, tossing the ingredients every once in a while.
Serve with grilled bread, will make an amazing side at a BBQ.