Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Salad Nicoise with Tarragon-Basil Vinaigrette

Another really hot day and another really easy dinner. This salad is so refreshing and very healthy for you too.  I just love the textures and flavors!

Tarragon-Basil Vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, finely minced
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves
2 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup Champagne or good quality white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer my vinaigrette to have a ratio of 2:1 (oil to vinegar, but you may find it too acidic, so just add more olive oil if needed)
2 tsp agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

1 lb organic Yukon gold baby potatoes, sliced and roasted
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for roasting potatoes
1 pt cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 lb slender green beans, trimmed and blanched
1 can or two cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup nicoise olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
3-4 cups chopped romaine lettuce, rinsed and drained
3 cups baby arugula, rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  
  • Wash potatoes and dry really well on paper towels and slice in half.
  • Toss in a large bowl with fresh thyme, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and set aside and cool.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch green beans for about 2 minutes until crisp-tender.  Drain and immerse in an ice-bath to stop cooking and set color and texture.  Drain and set aside.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and dress lightly with the vinaigrette.
  • Add salt and pepper if needed and serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

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