Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Salad Nicoise

With babies, there is a period in between spoon feeding puree foods and efficient finger food eating that is particularly troublesome.  It is usually during this period that the little nuggets figure out that throwing food on the floor is fun....this I loathed.  I hated that all the effort I had made to feed them these beautiful meals was thrown on the floor.

It also made our dog very fat.

I figured out very quickly that coordinating our meal times so the whole family ate together kept them better focused on the task at hand, and kept less food hitting the floor.  Also feeding them essentially the same meal we were having not only got them eating better but lowered my general stress level when it came to preparing food.

It might seem strange but this was one of my 18 month old twins favourite meals.  Big Daddy and I ate the salad and they ate the salad ingredients.  What toddler doesn't like green beans, potatoes, boiled eggs and tuna?  My guys also loved bits of olives (and Gabe loves tomatoes).

This is also one of those meals that I often make when I find I have left over beans and potatoes from meals earlier in the week and every time I do make it Big Daddy asks why we don't eat it more often.

There are a million variations on the classic Salad Nicoise and I have tried many of them.  They are all good and almost all deserve a blog post of their own (and if I am still doing this in 20 years I may need to do that) but here I give you one with ingredients you probably have in your house and probably the most family friendly version

It's not much of a recipe but here you go

Salad Nicoise

Fresh washed lettuce leaves, broken up
Boiled Potatoes (leave out for Paleo)
Boiled Eggs
Steamed Green Beans
Olives (preferably 'Nicoise' Olives)
Canned Tuna

**Trick - if you are making this from scratch, boil the potatoes and eggs together and steam the beans on top - voila, one pot

Arrange on plate

One of the yummiest parts of this salad is the dressing.  I like to use ingredients that intuitively go with the other ingredients (why make things complicated)

Shallot Dressing
2 shallots, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
7 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the shallot and garlic in 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat.  Allow to brown but not burn. Remove from heat and set aside.  In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice and mustard powder, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil.  When cooled add the now caramelized and sweet shallot/garlic mix into the dressing. Don't be stingy when dressing the salad

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