Noisette Nicoise Salad
This recipe is a departure from a traditional Nicoise salad but feel free to include tuna if you like. With or without tuna, the hazelnut dressing and chopped roasted hazelnuts level up this dish.
Yield: Makes 4-6 Serving
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 pound small new potatoes
- 6 large eggs
- 1 pound string beans or Romano beans, trimmed
- ¾ cup chopped Oregon Hazelnut Growers Toasted hazelnuts, divided
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup roasted hazelnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 nectarines, sliced into wedges
- ¼ cup nicoise olives
- A few sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- Sea salt
- Flake salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place the shallot in a small bowl with the lemon juice. Toss to coat and set aside.
For the potatoes:
If the potatoes are not bite-sized, slice them into bite-sized pieces. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water with a generous pinch of salt. There should be at least 3 inches of water above the potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 8-12 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Test by removing a couple pieces at 8 minutes and slicing into them with a paring knife. The knife should go through easily. Drain the potatoes and place them on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer to cool.
For the eggs:
Place 6 eggs into a large bowl and add hot water to cover the eggs. (This step brings the cold eggs up to temperature so when you lower them into boiling water they won’t crack.)
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon to carefully lower the eggs in one at a time, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 9 minutes. After 8 minutes, refill the bowl with ice and cold water. Transfer the eggs to the ice water to cool before peeling, reserving the water in the pot. Peel the eggs, slice them in half or quarter them lengthwise, and set aside.
For the green beans:
Refill the bowl with ice water and bring the pot of water back up to a boil with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the green beans and cook until just barely tender, around 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to the ice water to cool, then transfer them to paper towels or a clean dish towel and pat dry. Dry the bowl and toss the green beans with ¼ of the vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette:
Drain the shallots over a blender to catch the lemon juice and return the shallots to the bowl. Add ½ cup of the hazelnuts, the vinegar, and mustard. With the blender running, slowly add the oil and blend until smooth or blend less for more texture. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Arrange the potatoes, eggs, green beans, shallots, nectarines, and olives in separate piles on a platter. Spoon the dressing on top then sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts and the parsley and sprinkle with flake salt and pepper.