Monday, July 5, 2010

Grilled Salmon a la Nicoise

When I was looking for an interesting meal idea last week, I turned to the summer chapter of Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I found this Nicoise-style salad that could be made with several things I had on hand with just a few minor changes. First, in the book, it’s made with grilled halibut, but I used wild salmon instead. The dish also includes haricots verts, cherry tomatoes, and fingerling potatoes. I had different versions of each of those vegetables from my CSA and the farmers’ market. I received green beans last month, and they had been steamed and frozen, so I thawed them rather than buying haricots verts. I had bought local, yellow pear tomatoes, and I had just received some pretty, purple potatoes in my last CSA box. The tomatoes were to be sauteed in anchovy butter, and my stash of salt-packed anchovies came in handy as did my homegrown basil and thyme. This meal had all the components of a standard Nicoise salad, but the elements were tweaked in ways that added great flavor.

First, the fish was seasoned with lemon zest and thyme and then grilled which was flavor-boost one. Next, the potatoes were roasted rather than boiled, boost number two. The cooked green beans and roasted potatoes were sauteed in olive oil with shallots and then tossed with spinach, olives, and lemon juice. Eggs were soft-boiled here which left them extremely tender and lovely. Last, the tomatoes were warmed and softened with melted butter and minced anchovy. The buttery tomatoes became a sauce that was spooned over the grilled fish which sat on top of the spinach salad, and it was crowned with sliced green and opal basil.

Nicoise salad has always been a favorite meal kind of salad of mine, but this one was a cut above the usual. The roasted potatoes with bits of surface crunch and the added shallot, olive oil flavor and the sweet, salty bite of bursting tomatoes in warm anchovy butter elevated this version. And, the soft-boiled eggs were rich and a little delicate and just seemed special. Yes, this was a very good way to make a Nicoise salad.



19 comments:

  1. Abolutely irresistible! That salmon dish must be exquisite. So summery and flavorful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Gorgeous!
    This is my favorite salad and my favorite cookbook. I love that you paired it with salmon instead.

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  3. Everything looks wonderful; The salmon Must be exceptionally moist.Soooooo good!

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  4. I like how you can compose a dish, especially one as beautiful as this, from a CSA mishmash. I always have a hard time coming up with ideas. Using salmon in salade ni├žoise is such a great idea, and the purple potatoes look so lovely.

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  5. the roasted potatoes are my favorite aspect of this elegant and sophisticated dish!
    incidentally, i broke out the term 'haricot verts' the other day and got some baffled and disbelieving looks. yep, i hang out with some real rubes. :)

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  6. Your version of nicoise is gorgeous. I love salmon more than any other fish, so I definitely think you made the right choice in substituting it in. Plus all of the local ingredients - can't go wrong there!

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  7. Love that cookbook and the salmon a la nicoise just looks so tasty! What a delicious idea to pare it with salmon

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  8. One of my favorite cookbooks... your dish looks great, we love salmon, have it once a week, no matter the time of the year...

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  9. Gorgeous! I love your purple potatoes, yellow tomatoes and purple and green basil --inspired! I wish I'd been at dinner when you served this. ;)

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  10. Gorgeous! and I see a perfectly cooked egg there! nom nom

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  11. I love the summer feel of this dish. Fish always seems a better choice for me when it's hot out here!

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  12. Wow, lovely dish, great combination of salmon and roasted potatoes...beautiful presentation :-)

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  13. perfectly cooked salmon. I'm loving this quite a bit. It's got that summery feel to it.

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  14. It looks just so nutritious :) and love the colors.

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  15. What a delicious Summer time dish! I like how perfectly you cooked the egg too and the purple potatoes look very interesting. I've been trying to find similar ones here to no avail sadly! :)

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  16. Fantastic flavor amalgamation and beautifully presented.

    Thank you for the kind words about my dish on Natasha's blog.

    Be well

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  17. Such a lovely dish! This is unlike all poor, limp salads I've made - a complete meal indeed. It's a wonderful harmony of flavors and textures!

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  18. What a gorgeous meal - it looks perfect to serve to company too!

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