Warm Vegetarian Provencal Salad2015-01-24
- Servings : 4-6
- Prep Time : 15m
- Cook Time : 10m
- Ready In : 25m
Warm Vegetarian Provencal Salad, is a version of the well known Salad Nicoise, possibly named after a particular variety of black olives, and it is well known outside of France. It is usually served with tuna and anchovies, but this is a vegetarian version which works well without the fish. It would normally be served cold or at room temperature, but it is just as easy to serve as a warm salad during the colder months by serving the potatoes while still warm and with freshly boiled eggs and baked croutons. You just need to keep things warm and be a little more mindful of the timing during the preparation. Prepare the dressing first as that will be served at room temperature and then start to prepare the salad and the croutons. Multi tasking is essential!
- 1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 80-100ml sunflower oil
- 80-100ml extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- white rustic loaf or French stick
- 2-3 cloves garlic, skins removed and sliced in half
- 1 small Cos lettuce, washed and torn into smaller pieces
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 450g new potatoes or waxy potatoes
- 225g French or green beans
- 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 4
- 4 eggs
- 4 ripe medium sized tomatoes or 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
- 24 black olives (traditionally Nicoise)
- 2 tbsp capers
- a small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
For the dressing
Put the mustard and garlic into a bowl and mix together, crushing the garlic against the sides to mix in. Whisk in the lemon juice and then slowly add the sunflower oil and then the olive oil, whisking as you add, until the dressing is smooth and creamy. Add more oil as desired and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to drizzle over the salad at the end.
For the croutons
Remove the crust from the bread. Cut the bread into 2-2.5 cm cubes and bake in the oven at 180°C (Gas Mark 4) for about 6-7 minutes or until they are turning a golden colour, turning once or twice. Remove from the oven, rub the toast with the garlic and keep warm or serve at room temperature.
For the salad
Arrange the lettuce pieces in a serving bowl and scatter the celery slices.
Cook the potatoes in a pan of water until just tender. Drain and leave to cool a little and then cut into 1.5 cm cubes, skin on or off as you prefer. Cook the beans in a pan of water until tender also and keep warm.
Place the bell pepper quarters under a hot grill, skin side up and grill until charred. Leave to cool slightly, remove the skin and slice.
Put the eggs into a small saucepan of water and boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes. Remove the eggs and then take off the shells and cut into quarters.
Arrange the cubed potatoes in the centre of the salad and arrange the beans around them. Arrange the green bell pepper, tomatoes, eggs and olives, scatter the capers over the salad and the croutons and drizzle over the dressing. Serve.