Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

by Anne Maxfield on June 10, 2019

Plated Salmon Nicoise SaladNow that the weather is getting better it’s time to start breaking out the salad recipes. This is an interesting take on a classic salad Niçoise, using salmon instead of tuna. Serves 4.

Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 1 anchovy fillet, minced
  • 6 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted olives, preferably Niçoise or Kalamata
  • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut, skin-on salmon fillets
  • 5 ounces tender salad greens, like baby red and green leaf lettuce

Tomatoes, Beans and Olives for RoastingHeat the oven to 400° and place a rack near the top of the oven. In a bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper to make cleaning up easier), arrange the potatoes so the cut sides are facing down and roast for 20 minutes.
While the potatoes roast, fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the eggs and cook over medium heat for exactly 6 minutes. Remove the eggs, and when they are cool enough to handle, peel and quarter them.
Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, the garlic, anchovy, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside.
In the bowl you used for the potatoes, add the haricots verts, tomatoes and olives along with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Add the vegetables to the sides of the baking sheet with the potatoes, leaving a space in the center of the sheet pan. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel and place them, skin-side down, in the center of the sheet pan.
Salmon and Vegetables for RoastingBrush salmon with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on the top rack in the oven for 10 minutes.
Turn the broiler to high and broil for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly brown the salmon. (If you don’t have a broiler, roast salmon for an additional 2 to 3 minutes instead.) The salmon should flake easily and be just cooked in the center.
Add the greens to the large bowl with the dressing and toss gently. Place greens on a large platter, leaving a narrow border at the platter’s edges. Place the salmon fillets in the middle of the platter, then arrange the roasted vegetables and eggs around them. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: For a couple of people who are usually pretty particular about their Salade Niçoise this was a great version! And since eating more fish, especially salmon, is a goal, this is a painless way to add it to our diet.
Now that it is warmer out, I might just do everything on the grill. Either way, it’s a good main course salad.
Next time, maybe a handful of capers?



Hot or Not, a Visit to Monte’s

by Anne Maxfield on April 20, 2015

Accidental Locavore MontesMaybe the Accidental Locavore is being overly fussy, but don’t you think that food that is supposed to be hot, should in fact, be hot? And when menus describe something as “seared”, one assumes that it’s going to have residual warmth from the searing process. Such was not the case at a recent dinner at a new “hot” restaurant, Monte’s Kitchen.

Originally I wasn’t going to write about our dinner, preferring to just sit back and enjoy an evening with friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. But the dinner was so disappointing—not bad, mind you, just very sloppily executed, that the company was definitely the high point of the evening.Accidental Locavore Montes Door

It’s a large open space, with nothing but hard surfaces, so as soon as it filled up it was impossible to hear anything. Along with kale, the other must-have for a trendy restaurant has to be the Edison light bulb, which looks great (or did the first fifty times you saw them), but isn’t terribly effective as far as illuminating a kraft paper menu on a clip board (another trendy conceit). In an effort to go against other long-standing traditions, there are weekly specials (a terrible idea at the end of the week…) of pasta (never thought of pierogis as pasta, dummy me), flatbread and dessert.

When the flatbread arrived, it was warm and soggy, weighed down by a nondescript cheese and the inevitable kale. Not special. My husband and one of our friends had the beet salad, which was certainly the most unusual-looking rendition of that dish I’ve ever seen. Small beets of various colors were halved and piled up on one side of the plate, opposite a same-sized ball of (wait for it) beet sorbet, with a slab of feta standing in for the usual goat cheese. Frank said the sorbet was interesting, but it was obvious that the salad wasn’t what they were expecting.

Main courses were a little more traditional. Frank had a steak, which was good, but not close to being rare. Ditto the lamb chops another one of our friends had—grey is not the color of medium-rare meat. The two of us at the end of the table (and minus points for turning a four-top into a six-top by adding chairs at the ends) had the chile-rubbed seared tuna on a bread salad. This is where things got interesting. The tuna was perfectly seared, a little spicy – and stone cold! It was served over a bread salad with a basil dressing, which was just kind of a green mush with lima beans being the dominate note.

Accidental Locavore Montes Seared TunaBecause the tuna was so cold, we gave them back to the busboy and told him they were cold. He look puzzled (but that was pretty much his only facial expression that evening) and went off with them. Not thirty seconds later, he returned saying that the chef said it was supposed to be that way. I get that salad is cold, seared tuna in the center is cold, but the outside (i.e. the seared part) was also cold. My guess is that it’s seared off in the morning and kept in the fridge until someone orders it, when it’s sliced and plated. None of this would have been a problem at all…except no one said that it was a cold dish.

The dessert menu was limited to three desserts, none of them memorable, and the weekly special—a key lime pie cut into rectangles so they could call it a bar…

I’m tempted to be like Monte’s website and not have any photos of the food (which should be a telling sign), but instead will leave you with this terrible shot of my tuna. Thanks to Frank for going back and taking the exterior photos!



Accidental Locavore Recipe: Salad Niçoise

by Anne Maxfield on May 24, 2010

Accidental Locavore A Salad NicoiseFinally local and fresh, or a lot more local and a lot fresher than it’s been. Here’s an incredible salad the Accidental Locavoremade, mostly sourced from the Union Square Greenmarket. Not sure how many points I’d get from the French for authenticity, but it’s the joie de vivre that they’d appreciate. Salad Nicoise is all about riffing on the basic, with whatever looks good at the market. I had a couple of nice tuna steaks, so I was off to a good if non-traditional start.

  • Boiling the eggs, the potatoes, steaming and shocking* your green beans ahead of time is a good idea. That way everything has a chance to cool down. In the summer, if it’s really hot out I do all the boiling stuff early in the morning, let it cool and refrigerate. Then all you’re left with is a construction challenge.
  • I use these really big square black plates, cover them with a bed of mesclun from Migliorelli Farm up in Dutchess County. Then the hard boiled eggs (local from Quattro’s), quartered the long way. A handful of potatoes. This time I used some lovely fingerlings, and brilliant baby purple potatoes(check them out in the photo), from the Greenmarket. When tomatoes are in season, I mix up small ones of different color, but this time I just halved some grape tomatoes, mostly so they don’t squirt when you try to eat them. Another handful of capers, some Nicoise olives, artichoke hearts, beautiful French radishes, and of course, haricots verts (the skinny cousin of a green bean). Fresh herbs like basil, tarragon are great if you have them, and some scallions or chopped red onion are good too.  For my husband, sliced beets, and a few anchovies.
  • Since I was working with fresh tuna, I simply seared it quickly, and sliced it over the salad. If I use canned tuna, I use either the Spanish or Italian tuna in olive oil. Do not try this with canned tuna in water. You will hate yourself for it.Accidental Locavore Green Beans for Salad Nicoise
  • For the dressing I put the juice of half a lemon in a jar with some red wine vinegar, olive oil (good quality), a small garlic clove minced fine, or put through a press, salt, pepper, and a big spoonful of Dijon mustard. If you should have any dried Herbs de Provence, crush a large pinch of them and add to the jar. Put the top on the jar and shake until all is combined and it begins to thicken slightly. Pour over the salad and enjoy! A bottle of rose, and chunks of baguette and you’re set, bon appetit!

*To shock beans (or any other veggie) and stop them from cooking; prepare a bowl with ice and water. When they’re done cooking dump them in the ice water. I use a colander filled with ice and spray cold water over them from the faucet.