Sunday, July 1, 2012

green bean, potato, and tuna salad.

I am one of those people who bring their lunch to work.  I realize that this is the norm in some industries, but in the world of finance doing so makes you stick out like a sore thumb.  I used to try and bring inconspicuous items like turkey sandwiches and chicken noodle soup, but sandwiches generally feel less then chic and elegant.  When you’re forced to eat all your meals at your desk, you want to try and bring a little French je ne sais quai to your meal. 

To make my lunch feel a little more special and a little less like I’m eating in a white walled cubicle (when I’d rather be eating on a bench in the sun), I’ve taken to making salads.  We are not talking about bagged lettuce mix salads (the horror!) but rather positively French salads filled with farmer’s market vegetables and some kind of protein. 

My current version features skinny haricots verts (a green bean with a fancy name) with baby red potatoes, chopped egg, and olive oil packed tuna.  I use the olive oil the tuna comes in to make a tart and spicy vinaigrette that I drizzle over the whole thing while the salad is still warm.  The warm vegetables soak up the vinaigrette which makes each bite taste creamy and rich.  The dish is at its best the next day once the flavors have melded, making this the perfect easy lunch that tastes like so much more.  If only I had macarons for dessert (and white wine to drink!)

Green Bean, Potato, and Tuna Salad
Serves 4

This is my version of a nicoise salad (so French!).  In addition to being a super fabulous lunch, it also makes the perfect meal for an impromptu alfresco dinner especially if you serve it with a wedge of brie and crusty bread.  Finish the meal with a bar of the best dark chocolate you can buy.  Simple and wonderful.

For the salad

1 ¼ pound green beans washed and ends removed, cut in half on a diagonal
1 pound red baby potatoes washed and quartered (or more if bigger)
3 egss
1 can good olive oil packed tuna (this is the time to splurge)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

Olive oil from can of tuna (about 3 tablespoons, add fresh if not enough)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (plus more to taste if you like lots of mustard)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring water to boil, salt your water, and add green beans.  Cook 3-4 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your beans.  Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and place in large bowl.  Rinse beans with cold water to stop cooking. 

Add potatoes to pot, cook until fork tender, about 6-8 minutes depending on the potatoes size.  Remove from pot with a slotted spoon. Add eggs to pot and cook 10 minutes. 

While eggs are cooking, make dressing.  Drain tuna olive oil into a small bowl.  Add tuna to the green beans and potatoes.  Combine mustard, white wine vinegar, and honey with the oil.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Remove eggs from pot, and dunk in cold water.  Peel the eggs, halve them, and dice each half.  Add eggs to the beans, potatoes, and tuna.  Season beans and potato mixture with salt and (lots of!) pepper to taste.  Mix in dressing, and toss to coat.  Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.  

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