• Summer in Winter

    by Jon on December 15, 2008 · 1 comment

    Salade Nicoise

    Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Red Onions

    Silken Tofu Garlic Aioli

    Last Thursday night, in the northeast, we had a whopper of an ice storm. We were lucky – we only lost power for 24 hours. We have friends who live one mile away who still have no power. Our internet was down until this morning, but at least we were warm.

    Two of our friends own an older house that had basement flooding as a result of this storm. They’re still without power and have been staying with friends since Thursday night. Because we thought it would be nice to give them a reminder that the storm (and its’ results) wouldn’t last forever, we decided to invite them over for a summer kind of dinner – one of my faves. Salade Nicoise – so easy to make vegetarian or veganize if you eliminate the feta, hard-boiled eggs and tuna, subbing in marinated tofu or tempeh instead, maybe some additional veggies.

    The original recipe is adapted from one of my oldest cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. I decided to add some roasted brussel sprouts and red onions, served separately. They were such a yummy addition to the salad. I used her vinaigrette which is part of her Salade Nicoise recipe.

    If you want to invite tofu into your life, here’s a great way to do it, especially if you like dipping veggies into anything where garlic is front and center. Make this veganized version of Horseradish Aoili (fancy mayonnaise) from one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors, Molly Katzen. This recipe comes from her Vegetable Heaven cookbook which I was fortunate enough to purchase from a local thrift store and am devouring (pardon the pun). The artwork is terrific (she’s a talented painter as well as cookbook author) and the recipes are, per her usual, fabulous.

    Salade Nicoise

    12 small new red potatoes
    1 scallion, minced
    3 tbsp dry vermouth (optional)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 lb green beans, snipped
    1 large head red leaf lettuce, washed (leave left whole) and patted dry
    12 cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 cucumber, sliced
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    2 cans tuna, drained and flaked
    3 tbsp tiny capers, drained
    1/2 cup nicoise (or kalamata) olives
    3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
    1/2 cup feta, crumbled

    2/3 cup olive oil
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
    2 tbsp dijon mustard
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
    1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    salt and pepper to taste

    Horseradish Aioli
    1 12 oz package silken tofu (soft variety) in asceptic package (not kept in frig)
    1 – 2 medium cloves garlic
    2 tsp prepared horseradish
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 very well-rounded tbsp nayonnaise (vegan mayo)

    Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside until ready to use.

    Place all aioli ingredients in a blender or food processor and whip until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.

    Steam the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Peel and slice them, toss with scallions, vermouth, and salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

    Blanch green beans in salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and chill in ice water bath. Drain again and dry well.

    Lay the lettuce leaves on a large platter, covering the entire surface.

    Place the potato slices in a ring on top of the lettuce, arrange the rest of the veggies, olives, hard-boiled eggs and feta in a decorative pattern. Add the tuna.

    Serve with vinaigrette and aioli.

    Eat. Sigh. Ah, summer.

    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    Kalinda December 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I agree that sometimes you just need a “Summer in Winter” meal. I find that citrus frequently ends up in many of my dishes.

    The Salade Nicoise looks lovely. I’ve never made one, but I think you’ve inspired me. The hubby won’t do tuna, so I’ll have to try the tempeh option perhaps.

    Those brussel sprouts look great too. I love my veggies. Thanks for the great ideas!

    Hope your friends have their power by now.


    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: