Flash in the Pan--Nicoise-ish Salad

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Flash in the Pan: quick, easy but not-dumbed down recipes.

Finally, finally it feels like spring--time to eat something refreshing and bright tasting. This dish has many of the elements of Nicoise salad, with the addition of chickpeas, so let's call it Nicoise-ish.

Nicoise-ish Salad
Yield: 2 servings
I splurge and use Italian canned tuna for this salad. Try Flott Sicilian tuna belly, which is wonderfully rich. It is more delicious than you ever imagined canned tuna could be. It also costs $7.50 per can at Fairway, so it had better be good.

3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
1 roasted red bell pepper
1/3 pound sting beans, trimmed and blanched
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 (4.5 ounce) tins good-quality tuna in olive oil
2 tablespoons capers

In a small bowl combine lemon juice, olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, red bell pepper, string beans, onion and chickpeas. Drizzle the dressing over the top, and toss to dress the salad evenly. Taste a piece of lettuce, and season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Divide the dressed salad among two large serving bowls. Divide the boiled eggs and parsley equally between the two bowls. Flake the tuna from the tins on top of each salad, and garnish with capers.

Pair this salad with a glass of Lillet Blanc, a fortified wine aperitif made from white wine and brandy that tastes lightly citrusy. Serve it on the rocks with a slice of orange. It all goes really well together and definitely tastes like warm weather food and drink.


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