Bastille Day Festivities : “Nicoise-ish” Salad & Provencal White Bean Dip

July 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm (French, Recipes) (, , )

In my mind, France in the summer invariably conjures up romantically bucolic images of country cottage get-aways, bike rides through the countryside and lazy picnics (with subsequent long naps) by the river.  So to celebrate July 14th, we pulled together a French-inspired, picnic-style dinner to bring the festivities to Anchorage on this beautiful summer day.

First up is a bright, “nicoise-ish” salad.  To clarify, I had fully intended to make a nicoise salad.  As you’d expect in Alaska, however, you can’t always rely on the supermarket being stocked with the exact ingredients you need, and I’ve learned to be flexible.  Today, abundant, fresh asparagus and zucchini won over the dwindling stocks of limp haricot (and to be perfectly honest, I simply forgot the fish in the rush to get home from work), so behold this not-nicoise salad that still captures all those provencal flavors.

To pair with the salad, an easy white bean dip flavored with fragrant herbes de provence.  Lemon juice and garlic give this a bit of a kick and balance out the earthiness of the beans – perfect for slathering over crusty baguette, which you’ll need to mop up the delicious juices from the salad.

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day Dinner-1

This post is part of the monthly link up party, Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Sophie at Cooking Trips.  For more information about these events and how to join, check out https://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/.

 

“Nicoise-ish” Salad

Ingredients (serves 4 as a side or 2 as a standalone meal)

Dressing:

  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
  • 1/2 white or red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped parsley (stems are good to use too)

Salad:

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ribbons with a mandolin or peeler
  • 8 spears asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into ribbons with a mandolin or peeler
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 small salad potatoes, cut into quarters (we found some purple ones!)
  • 8 soft-medium boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup pitted, marinated black olives, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Add the potatoes to a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes or until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, for the dressing, throw the mustard, vinegar, oil, garlic and anchovies into a small food processor and pulse until emulsified.  Divide the dressing between two mixing bowls.  To one bowl, add the onion and parsley and mix thoroughly (don’t worry if it seems a bit dry).  Cover and refrigerate until needed.  This will pickle the onion slightly and take away some of the bite.
  3. Drain the potatoes and add them, warm, to the second bowl with the rest of the dressing.  Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Place the zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes and olives into a large mixing bowl and toss together with clean hands, coating the vegetables in the tomato juices and any marinade still clinging to the olives.   Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Right before serving, add the onion/parsley mixture, along with the potatoes to the salad and gently toss to combine.  Transfer the salad to a large platter and top with the eggs to serve family-style.

Bastille Day Dinner-4

 

Provencal White Bean Dip with Crusty Baguette

Ingredients (serves 4 with the salad or as an appetizer)

  • 1 can organic great northern beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbs herbes de provence
  • 2 tbs EVOO
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • finely chopped parsley and extra olive oil to serve
  • 1 baguette + 1tbs EVOO

Method

  1. Drain the beans, reserving 2 tbs of the liquid.  Add the beans, reserved liquid, garlic, herbes de provence, olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl of a small food processor.  Process until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to develop.
  2. Slice the baguette on the diagonal into 1/2 in thick slices.  Add to a lightly oiled griddle and grill until nicely toasted and charred.
  3. Serve the toast with the bean dip, garnished with extra olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

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Bastille Day Dinner-2

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2 Comments

  1. 15 Minute Fridays : One-pan Chili-Garlic Salmon and Spinach | egg tarts and apple pie said,

    […] in less than 15 minutes with more of the summer sockeye catch and served it with some leftover nicoise-ish salad.  Effortless, delicious and leaving plenty of time for unwinding after a long week at […]

  2. TRAVEL Theme of Our Growing Edge, July 2016 Round-Up. – COOKING TRIPS said,

    […] kitchen experimenter from the blog Eggs and Apple Tarts tried to recreate at best a Niçoise Salad with the available local ingredients she was able to find in Anchorage. What a challenge! For the […]

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