Although the warm sunny days of summer are behind us, delicious summery salads can continue late into the fall. Jam-packed with layered flavors and textures, my twist on the classic Salade niçoise trades cannellini beans for eggs and skips artichokes, anchovies and olives for a lighter texture, letting summery heirloom tomatoes, string beans, radicchio, lettuce, and red potatoes dressed in a light vinaigrette absolutely sing. A meaty combination of tuna and cannellini beans deliver a rich texture sure to satisfy your appetite. This salad can be enjoyed on its own or alongside dinner and is also perfect for entertaining guests. Bursting with color and freshness, it’s a sure crowd pleaser.
What I enjoy most about making salads is getting creative. I have a bunch of perfectly fresh imperfect produce on hand and so this salad is one part inspiration and two parts imagination! I like to start with a proven formula, ala Salade niçoise, then add and remove elements until I’m are happy with the concept and get to work!
A side benefit of a subscription to Imperfect Produce is the constant supply of fresh produce just begging to be incorporated into weeknight meals, and in our experience has lead to a much higher proportion of fresh vegetables in our diet.
I paired my salad with my new favorite sparkling wine called Mrs. by SYLTBAR; an all natural sparkling rośe made with 100% Merlot grapes, no added sugar or sulfates. It’s elegant, fresh and fruity with hints of pomegranate, citrus, and lychee. Light yet complex and only 63 calories per glass, Mrs. pairs perfectly with my end of summer salad.
Ingredients for Salade Niçoise
1 medium radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
2 handfuls fresh string beans, ends trimmed
1 head of green leafy lettuce, torn
2 medium heirloom tomatoes or a pint of cherry tomatoes
1 can oil-packed tuna, drained and separated into pieces
14.5 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 red potatoes, sliced ¼” thick
1 T. capers
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
2 t. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil, season with a pinch of salt and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes until bright green, transfer to ice water bath to stop cooking. Bring the water back to a boil and add the sliced potatoes to the sauce pan. Cook until fork tender then chill in ice bath. Drain the tuna and cannellini beans and set aside.
Arrange lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and radicchio on a platter. Separate the tuna into chunks and add to the platter along with the cannellini beans, string beans, and red potatoes. In a small bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, garlic, flat leaf parsley, and black pepper, mix the vinaigrette until well combined. Add capers and stir. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed, although the capers will usually be salty enough. Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette and capers.