SHANNON'S CUTTING BOARD

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Seared Salmon Niçoise Salad

A lot of salads are made in my house. I mean, a lot. The one thing that's usually consistent is that they are very hardy salads. A Nicoise salad is exactly that. The first time I saw a Nicoise salad was on a black and white TV being prepared by Julia Child herself. This salad is classically made with canned tuna in a rich oil, but here in Seattle, we use salmon. For everything. It's made with fresh green beans, tomatoes, a nice acidic french potato salad, hard boiled eggs, capers, olives, all grouped around a bed of butter lettuce. I used arugula, just because it's my favorite green.

We want to start by laying the bed of greens on a platter. Drizzle the greens lightly with olive oil and dust with salt. We build the salad from here!


Make the vinaigrette. Place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until frothy.


Blanch your green beans. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil a large pot of water. Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes until they're bright green, then quickly submerge the beans in the ice water. They should be decently firm still.

For the french potato salad, boil a pot of water. Add the potatoes and cook until you can just puncture with a fork. Drain the water and allow the potatoes to briefly cool. Cut the potatoes into slices and dress them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

To boil the eggs, place eggs in a pot of cold water that's been decently salted. Bring the water to a boil at the highest temperature. Once the water is boiling, allow to boil for one minute. Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Set a timer for 6 minutes. When the 6 minutes is up, place eggs in a bowl of ice water. After at least 10 minutes, peel the eggs.


Dress the quartered tomatoes in 1/3 of the vinaigrette.


For the salmon, we are going to bring it up to room temperature. This allows the salmon to cook evenly.

I like to use a pair of tweezers to pull any bones out of the fillet that I can locate. Once it's at room temp, slice the salmon into about 3 inch slices. Pat the salmon dry and season it with the salt generously on the skin side, and a bit on the flesh side as well.


Heat a medium sized skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and heat until it shimmers. I use avocado oil just because it had a high burning temperature.

When the oil is hot, add the salmon to the pan, skin side down. We want the salmon to cook 90% of the way through on the skin side.

Once nearly cooked, flip the salmon over and cook it for maybe 30 seconds longer, just until it forms a nice lightly browned sear.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of butter lettuce or enough arugula to cover a platter

  • 1 cup fresh green beans, blanched

  • 2 tomatoes quartered and seasoned in vinaigrette

  • 2 cups French potato salad

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, halved

  • 4 anchovy filets

  • 1 cup black Nicoise olives or kalamata olives

  • 3 tablespoons capers

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

Salmon:

  • 1 filet of wild salmon

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • salt for seasoning

Vinaigrette:

  • 1-2 Tb red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ tsp mustard

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

French potato salad:

  • 6 small potatoes, cooked

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Start by laying the bed of greens on a platter. Drizzle the greens lightly with olive oil and dust with salt.

  2. To make the vinaigrette, place 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 cup of olive oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until frothy.

  3. Blanch your green beans. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil a large pot of water. Add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes until they're bright green, then quickly submerge the beans in the ice water. They should be decently firm still.

  4. For the french potato salad, boil a pot of water. Add the potatoes and cook until you can just puncture with a fork. Drain the water and allow the potatoes to briefly cool. Cut the potatoes into slices and dress them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

  5. To boil the eggs, place eggs in a pot of cold water that's been decently salted. Bring the water to a boil at the highest temperature. Once the water is boiling, allow to boil for one minute. Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Set a timer for 6 minutes. When the 6 minutes is up, place eggs in a bowl of ice water. After at least 10 minutes, peel the eggs.

  6. Dress the quartered tomatoes in 1/3 of the vinaigrette.

  7. Place all salad ingredients besides the salmon on the platter. Once the salmon is cooked (instructions below) , add the salmon to the salad as well.

  8. Drizzle the remainder of the vinaigrette over the salad.

Instructions for salmon:

  1. Bring salmon to room temp, this allows the salmon to cook evenly. Cut the salmon into slices about 3 inches thick.

  2. Pat the salmon dry and season it with the salt generously on the skin side, and a bit on the flesh side as well.

  3. Heat a medium sized skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and heat until it shimmers. I use avocado oil just because it had a high burning temperature.

  4. When the oil is hot, add the salmon to the pan, skin side down. We want the salmon to cook 90% of the way through on the skin side. Once nearly cooked, flip the salmon over and cook it for maybe 30 seconds longer, just until it forms a nice lightly browned sear.


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