September 28, 2012

Roasted Salmon Nicoise

(based on Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter)

This recipe is a regular on my dinner menu rotation during the spring and summer.  It is also a dish worthy of company.  When I want to be fancy I put it on an actual platter, so that everyone can pick and choose what they want on their plates.  But if I'm just making a meal for my family, because I know what they will and will not eat from the plate, I will assemble the "platter" on each person's dinner plate.  

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 fresh salmon fillets
  • 1/2 pound small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 pound frozen haricots verts
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges (optional)
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in quarters (Trader Joe's sells premade ones!)
  • 1 bunch spinach or butter lettuce
  • 8-10 green Spanish olives, pitted

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp orange muscat champagne vinegar (from Trader Joe's)
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cup good olive oil


1.    Preheat the oven to 500 Degrees Fahrenheit.
2.    Make the Marinade - In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.
3.    Place the salmon on a sheet pan that has been covered in aluminum foil, and drizzle the marinade over the salmon.  Let it marinade for 15 minutes. 
4.    Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water.  Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.  When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters and set aside.
5.    Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is almost cooked through.  Remove to a plate and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  Break into large pieces and remove any skin.
6.    Follow directions on package of frozen haircots verts to defrost. 
7.     Make the vinaigrette:  In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, then slowly whisk in the olive oil.
8.    Arrange the salmon and olives on the platter (or if serving directly on dinner plates, divide among the plates).
9.    In a large bowl toss the green beans with a little bit of the vinaigrette, and then place the green beans on the platter (or plates).  
10. In the same bowl toss the potatoes with a little bit of the vinaigrette.  Place the tossed potatoes on the platter (or plates).
11. In the same bowl, continue to toss each main ingredient separately (eggs, spinach or lettuce, tomatoes if using) with a little bit of the vinaigrette.  Place each ingredient on the platter (or plates) after tossing.

Leftover Magic:
I usually make this dish on a Sunday so that I can enjoy making it without feeling rushed.  I figure that if I am already taking the time to cook the green beans, hard boiled eggs, and potatoes, etc., I might as well make a little extra.  Here is how to work leftover magic: 
  • Make Green Beans and Tomatoes with the leftover green beans and tomatoes (just cook the extra green beans with chopped Roma tomatoes (and salt, to taste) in a saucepan on the stove top and stir occasionally until the juices from the tomatoes are reduced.  I do this the same night I make the Nicoise salad (usually while we are eating the salad for dinner) so that I can just warm this up during the week for an easy weekday meal).
  • Make Healthy-ish Mashed Potatoes with the leftover potatoes.
  • Add leftover potatoes to Roasted Vegetable Frittata. 
  • Add leftover hard boiled eggs to salads for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

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