Pesto Potato Salad Nicoise

>> Friday, July 21, 2017


Pesto Potato Salad Nicoise


This main-dish potato salad is a delightfully different take on the ordinary summer staple. It combines the classic French nicoise salad with a creamy pesto-based dressing. Perfect for our memories of Nice, which also remind Joe of Italy.





The first time Joe was in Nice, he was there on business for a French pharmaceutical company. He didn't get to enjoy much of the seaside life until his day off. Then he went on a countryside run that skirted the Mediterranean nearly to San Remo over the Italian border, before heading back for lunch. He ordered a classic salade Ni├žoise, which is usually a cold composed salad of potatoes, olives, tomatoes, sardines, tuna, and green beans.

Our version is a a cool summer salad that looks pretty fancy on a platter and gives you something new to do with potato salad. I've already made it a couple of times this summer - and ate the leftovers yesterday at lunch.

Pesto Potato Salad Nicoise


Ingredients

For the pesto

3 tbsp basil leaves
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil

For the salad

2 eggs
6 medium potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups green beans, rinsed and cut in half
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup white onion, finely sliced
1 6-oz can tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1 tbsp anchovy paste
2 tsp salt
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 head of romaine lettuce, separated into leaves

Directions

Blend together all pesto ingredients until smooth. Stir together with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and anchovy paste, and chill the sauce.

Boil the eggs and potatoes until the potatoes are just tender; drain and rinse with cold water. Chill, then cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and the eggs into wedges. Place the green beans in boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes, then immerse them in cold water to stop the cooking. 

In a large bowl, stir together the potatoes, green beans, celery, onion, tuna, olives, and sauce. Place the lettuce leaves on individual plates or a large platter. Mound the salad on the lettuce, then arrange the egg and tomato wedges around the salad. 

Serves 4-6.

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Mini Confetti Quiches

>> Sunday, July 9, 2017


Quiche crust in muffin cups


The Hungry Lovers home is very busy these days - Joe's working long hours to manage the employees in his financial practice, and I'm working on a bunch of new photography and writing projects at night and on weekends. With him off to early appointments and late networking events, I decided to come up with a make-ahead healthy and hearty breakfast for him to eat on the run.

These mini quiches can be made with any combination of ingredients. To make a pretty confetti-colored quiche, I used egg whites and low-fat Swiss cheese,  then added broccoli, red pepper, fat-free ham, and green onions. I froze these in their cupcake papers so wecan pop them in the microwave while we are packing for work, and then take them on the road.

Ingredients

1 10" low fat frozen pastry crust (if you don't like frozen, you can make your own)
3 cups egg whites or egg substitute, or 12 eggs
1/4 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 slice low-fat ham, finely chopped
1/4 cup Swiss or provolone cheese, shredded
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tsp basil, minced
1 tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place parchment baking cups into a 12-cup muffin pan. Lay the thawed pastry on a cutting board.  With a round cookie cutter or water glass, cut the pastry into 12 circles. Press one circle into the bottom and partway up the sides of each baking cup.


If using whole eggs, beat them together. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the eggs. I mixed these in a large glass measuring cup with a nice pouring spout, so I could easily pour the mixture into each paper cup. Fill them to nearly the top; leave a 1/4" space for the eggs to expand.


Mini quiches ready for baking


Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the eggs are fluffy and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the quiches comes out clean. Let cool.

These can be heated up in 45 seconds from the refrigerator, or about 1.5-2 minutes from the freezer.

Makes 12 mini quiches.

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