The Maximalist Salad You'll Love to Make (and Eat)
Take a look at this spin on the Nicoise
When I saw Mark’s Nicoise on Instagram, I was inspired to make my own. In true 'Holly the Maximalist' fashion, it’s a little more work than the original recipe, with a couple special ingredients.
While I love a hardboiled egg moment in this salad, I was craving a jammy yolk - I love dipping potatoes in a soft yolk. Inspired by marinated ramen eggs, I did 7-minute soft-boiled eggs, peeled then soaked in a mixture of tarragon, thyme, white shoyu and sweet white wine vinegar — kind of like ajitama went to Paris for the summer.
I lined the plate with halves of little gem lettuce, haricot vert, boiled potatoes, and tomatoes from the farm where I work. On top, a sprinkle of capers and some really nice Moroccan oil-cured olives. I left white tuna, some preserved octopus (because of course I have tinned octopus on hand), and those jammy eggs.
I put my friend Joshua in charge of the dressing, and he adds za’atar (a Middle Eastern herb blend of oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds, and other spices) to almost everything, which made for a nice variation on the traditional vinaigrette.
Maximalist Salade Nicoise
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes
6 cups torn assorted lettuces and other salad greens
2 cups haricot vert, trimmed
4 marinated soft-boiled eggs (recipe below)
1 cup good black olives (preferably Niçoise or any oil-cured)
3 fresh tomatoes, cored, seeded if you'd like, and cut into wedges
6 anchovy fillets
1 can tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained (optional)
1 can preserved octopus, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus a little more if needed
About ½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon za'atar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1. Going in the order above, put the lettuce, haricot vert, eggs, olives, tomatoes, anchovies, octopus and tuna, if you're using it, on a platter or in a shallow bowl, scattering or piling things as you like. Or--less attractive but easier to serve—toss all the ingredients together in a big bowl.
2. Put the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, garlic, shallot, za’atar and mustard in a jar or small bowl. Shake or stir vigorously, taste and adjust the seasoning, and mix again. Pour over the salad and serve.
Herb Marinated Soft-Boiled Eggs
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 15 minutes, plus chill time
2 sprigs tarragon, chopped
2 sprigs thyme
3 tablespooons white shoyu
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, mirin or agro dolce vinegar
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove 4 eggs from the refrigerator, gently place in the boiling water and set a timer for 7 minutes. While the eggs boil, set up a large bowl with ice water and start on the marinade.
2. Place 2 sprigs chopped tarragon and 2 sprigs thyme in a medium bowl. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water (I just pull it from the pot with the eggs) over the herbs. Let steep 5 minutes. To the herb tea, add in 3 tablespoons white shoyu and 3 tablespoons vinegar; stir to combine.
3. When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the heat and place in the ice water to stop the cooking. Peel the eggs and place in the ziplock bag. Pour the marinade into the bag with the eggs and gently squeeze out as much air as possible so the eggs are submerged in liquid. Chill at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
— Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition