I think I’m finally over my post-vacation blues. Man, those hit hard! Thanks for understanding the lack of activity on g&c last week…the break after vacation was much needed and I’ve finally recovered! Now, onto the FOOD!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who craves fruits and veggies and general healthy eating after coming home from vacation, and this vacation was no different. Well, it was a little different. I actually lost weight on our backpacking trip (which was no surprise as we were hiking 15 miles a day) but I was just sick of eating packaged, processed food on the trail. After my cravings for a beer, burger, chili cheese Fritos, kettle chips, ice cream, Snickers, and wine were fulfilled, I came home wanting fresh fruit and veggies.
So for the past 2 weeks it’s been salads, galore! I love a good Nicoise salad but I’ve never tried making one at home. The thought of cooking Ahi tuna is intimidating to me but after trying one with salmon on vacation, I was hooked.
The thing about Nicoise salads is that there are quite few cooked ingredients, which are not difficult things to cook but they do require time. Such as, the hard boiled eggs. And the potatoes. And the green beans. And the salmon. And then I went ahead and threw some quinoa in there just so you’d have to cook one more thing.
The great thing about all of these things (except the salmon) is that you can make them ahead of time. If you’re planning to make this for dinner, cook the quinoa, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and green beans the night before. These ingredients are typically served cold on the salad, anyways. That way, when you get home and were ready to eat dinner an hour ago, all you have to do is cook the salmon.
Speaking of the salmon – you can cook it whatever way you prefer. I used my grill so I didn’t have to turn on the oven but you could definitely use your oven or your stovetop. I’ve also had a hard time in the past getting salmon to turn out how I want it and I just recently discovered drizzling it with a bit of olive oil or putting a couple pats of butter on top, and it has turned out perfectly ever since. Oh, and not overcooking it…resist the temptation!
The simple vinaigrette is the icing on the
cake salad.. It has a ton of flavor from the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and dried herbs, and goes so well with the fresh veggies.
Overall, I absolutely luuuuuurved this salad. The ingredients are so simple, but so good. Especially with farmers market fresh potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans. What better time of the year to make this salad than now, when the ingredients are so fresh?!
for the quinoa:
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 cups water
for the salmon:
- 4 salmon filets ~4 oz each
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
- 2 tbsp olive oil
for the dressing:
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 medium shallot diced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
for the salad:
- 2 Roma tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cup olives Niçoise if possible
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 2 cups red potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups fresh green beans
To make the quinoa and veggies:
- In small pot combine quinoa and water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce to low and cover.
- Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
- Meanwhile, fill medium size pot with water and potatoes and bring to a boil.
- Let boil 10-12 minutes, until fork tender.
- Throw the green beans in for the last 4 minutes.
- Drain veggies and set aside until ready to use.
- While quinoa and vegetables are cooking, you can also cook the salmon.
To make the salmon:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sprinkle salmon with sea salt and Herbs de Provence.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until salmon is pink and flakes easily with a fork.
To make the dressing:
- Combine all ingredients and stir/whisk well to combine. I like to put my salad dressings in a mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Scoop quinoa evenly onto plates.
- Top with tomatoes, olives, eggs, potatoes, green beans, and salmon.
- Drizzle with dressing.