Cool Food for Hot Days- Niçoise Salad

Did I mention it is hot here? Daytime temperatures are usually around 95º F, but with the humidity it feels like 115º. The last thing I want to do when I’m drowning in sweat is to light up the stove to cook dinner and then eat a hot meal. It’s great to have an oven on the boat, but it is even worse. And if I do cook, nobody wants to eat hot food. Being from Alaska, this is a new phenomenon for me so I am struggling to find cool food to eat that needs no baking and minimal cooking but is still healthy.

This Niçoise salad does require a little boiling, but can be done ahead of time, and the salad lasts well for a few hours at room temperature.

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Niçoise Salad

  • 4 medium-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Parsley, thyme, or other fresh herbs if available
  • A few handfuls of olives, any kind (optional)
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut into 1-inch segment.
  • ¼ red onion cut in paper thin slices, optional

If your eggs aren’t boiled already, put them in a medium pan of water and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let them sit for six more minutes. Lift the eggs out and cool them in cold water. Bring hot water back to a boil and add the green beans and one teaspoon salt (you may have to do this in two batches.) Boil for 2-3 minutes, depending on size, until barely cooked. They should still have some crunch. Lift out with tongs into mesh strainer or colander, run briefly under cool water and let drain. Add potatoes and cook 5-8 minutes until they can be pierced with a fork, but are still firm.

Meanwhile, make your dressing. In a large bowl mix vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper. Whisk in olive oil (can use a fork.) Add minced herbs, if using.

When potatoes have been drained well, but are still hot, toss them with the dressing. Add the beans and toss again. Add the rest of the ingredients, except eggs, and toss again. Taste for salt and pepper. Put eggs on top and serve warm or at room temperature.

I like to make extra eggs for snacks or egg salad the next day. Also, you can plan ahead by making extra green beans when you make supper the day before. Just be sure to toss the potatoes in the dressing while warm so they can absorb the flavors. You can also add greens, anchovies, or other vegetables as desired. This salad makes great leftovers that will last 2 days.

This recipe takes about 30-40 minutes to make, with about 20 minutes of cooking, and serves 4.

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