Growing up, salads for dinner were always a thing. Now I’m not talking your boring old iceberg with a bit of cucumber and tomato thrown at it. I’m talking proper salads with meats, fish, seasonal veg and whatever else took mum’s fancy.
We’d have them hot, we’d have them cold. We’d have them at the table, on the sofa, in the garden. We were a family of the converted. All hail the leafy greens and their tasty friends.
Now this recipe is a golden oldie of mine. Back at uni when I’d had a long day of lectures and cheer training I’d be in desperate need of a quick fix of carbs and protein. Enter the Niçoise salad. But not just any Niçoise salad – this one was fancy and took advantage of the fact that the shop nearby always seemed to have a deal on smoked salmon. I mean when it’s only a pound more to buy salmon over tuna why wouldn’t you!
And thus my bastardised version of a Niçoise salad was born. Containing all the home comforts (and not too many calories) you could ever want.
I must admit I don’t just have the one recipe for this – as you know I am the queen of condiments and leftovers. Which means sometimes I’ll find myself with a few leftover sunblush tomatoes or olives. If that’s the case I’ll add them to the mix. If I’m out of spinach or fancy something different I’ll do a leaf swap. If I’ve got it one of my new favourite things to do is to sauté the green beans with some leftover nduja…delish!
But here it is in its simplest form my home comfort, warm salmon Niçoise. Enjoy!
Warm Salmon Niçoise
100g Smoked Salmon (or if you’ve got it add more)
200g Baby Spinach
50g Green Beans
150g Baby New Potatoes
1 Red Onion, sliced
2 Limes, juiced
Good quality Olive Oil (my preference is always Greek)
1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Capers
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp each Rosemary & Thyme (I use fresh as we have planted some in the garden but dried works just as well)
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Slice the red onion and cover in lime juice to make a quick pickle. Set aside for at least 20 minutes
Boil the new potatoes for 10 mins. At minute 7 throw in the green beans (you can also steam if you’ve got the time). Drain then set aside to cool.
Soft boil the eggs. I like my all gooey inside so 5 minutes is just perfect. Once the time is up take off the heat and run under cold water. Set aside.
Rip the smoked salmon into chunks and lay out on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 10 mins. You’ll want the salmon to go crispy but not burn so keep an eye on it.
Whilst the salmon is cooking heat a glug of oil in a large pan. Throw the rosemary and thyme in and cook for 10 seconds. Throw the potatoes in with a big pinch of salt and stir to coat. Leave the potatoes to cook for 1-2 mins each side until crispy. You want to avoid overlapping the potatoes too much as the aim here is to brown the skins and get that lovely roast skin effect.
In a big bowl mix the salad leaves, onion, green beans, potatoes and capers. Add a glug of oil, the white wine vinegar and salt & pepper to taste.
To serve, divide salad between plates and top with flakes of salmon. Cut boiled eggs in half lengthways and place two halves on top of each plate.