Melissa Elsmo

SPRING SALADE NICOISE WITH SEARED SALMON (makes 2 salads)

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 2  Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Olive oil

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, shallot, and chives in a small bowl. Season with the salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Transfer dressing to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow the dressing to come to room temperature and shake well before assembling the salad.

For the Roasted Grape Tomatoes:

  • 10-15 Grape tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half length wise and place them, cut side up, on a cut. Drizzle them with the olive oil and season with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle with the honey. Bake the tomatoes for 20 minutes until starting to dry, but still juicy. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temp before serving. Tomatoes can be refrigerated over night in an airtight container; allow them to come to room temp before serving. 

For the Potatoes:

  • 6-8 small fingerling  potatoes
  • Kosher salt

Place the potatoes in pot large and cover them with cold water. Season the water with enough salt to make it taste as salty as the ocean … seriously taste it and be sure it reminds you of the beach. Bring the pot to a boil on the stove, reduce heat and allow the potatoes to simmer for 20 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and allow to cool to room temperature. Potatoes can be cooked one day ahead and refrigerated. Allow them to come to room temp before serving.

For the Green Beans:

  • 12-18 Green Beans, trimmed 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Ice bath

Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil and season with the salt. Add the beans and allow them to boil for three minutes or until just crisp-tender. Drain and plunge the par-cooked beans into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Dry the beans with a papertowel and store them in the fridge until ready to serve.

For the Eggs:

  • 2 large eggs (preferably closer to their sell-by date; older eggs are easier to peel)

Place the eggs in a small sauce pan and cover with enough tepid water to cover by two inches. Allow the eggs to sit in the water for 15 minutes before bringing them to a boil. Allow the eggs to boil gently for 7 minutes before draining and rinsing with cold water. Peel the eggs and cut them into quarters. They can be stored in the refrigerator overnight.

For the Salmon:

  • 2 (6 ounce) portions farm-raised salmon, skin and dark grey blood line removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pan Spray
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil

Allow the fish to come to room temp (about 30 minutes) Sprinkle the presentation side with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the salmon portions presentation side down and cook, without moving or touching for 3 minutes or until the top is golden brown and it appears each piece in nearly cooked halfway through. Gently flip the salmon portion and transfer the pan to a 375 degree oven for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a rack and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving.

To Assemble the salad:

  • 12 ounces butter lettuce 
  • 6-8 cooked fingerling potatoes
  • 12-18 cooked green beans
  • 20 honey roasted grape tomato halves
  • 4 hard boiled egg halves
  • 1 yellow/orange heirloom tomato, cut into quarters 
  • 20 pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 2 salmon portions
  • 3 Tablespoons salad dressing, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 marinated artichoke quarters, optional
  • 1/4 Cup sliced scallions

Distribute the greens among 2 large salad bowls. Arrange the potatoes, green beans, roasted and fresh tomatoes, and hard boiled eggs in the bowls. Add a salmon portion to the center of each bowl. Sprinkle the salad with the olives and drizzle the salmon with dressing as desired.  Top with the artichoke quarters and sprinkle each salad with scallions and serve at once.

Join the discussion on social media!