June 12, 2008

Meal Four: Variations on a theme

Salade Nicoise. I’ve always heard about it, but have never eaten it. Sounded a little strange—potatoes and eggs and tuna and green beans? Huh?

Oh, how my eyes were opened last night. After discussing what’s left in our Greenling box for the week, my colleague suggested a composed salad. (She also brought me some gorgeous tomatoes from her garden, which will be oven-roasted tonight with leeks and other surprises.)

Here’s what I had to use: a can of farm-raised albacore tuna, a cucumber, green beans, red potatoes, fresh onion, and herbs from my little garden (basil and oregano).

After doing some web research, I mixed a bunch of different recipes and came up with what Ryan and I decided was a true winner.

I made a vinaigrette with lemon juice, olive oil, brown mustard, minced garlic, onion, oregano, and basil. I had Ryan taste it before dousing the potatoes. “This is the best dressing I’ve had in a long time.” Exact words, not kidding.

I boiled the potatoes but totally FORGOT to reserve the water to blanch the beans! Bad move. I’ll remember next time. I soaked the potatoes in some of the dressing while I blanched the beans. (Ryan doesn’t like “squeaky” veggies, but I made him deal with it, as usual. He was a really good sport.) First layer: fresh cucumber.

Second layer: the potatoes in dressing. Next, the bright green squeaky beans, topped with the tuna and a little extra minced onion, garlic, and herbs on top. Oh yeah, and I forgot the hardboiled egg—we did without. And I added the “wrong” kind of olives. But they were tasty anyway. (Be brave, folks!)

We had a little of the challah left, so Ryan toasted it and topped it with the chive cheese spread (which is AMAZING, by the way). On the table with some white wine.

Ryan can be a bit of a tough critic—but I loved last night’s review. “This was incredible. Nothing short of incredible. If I could eat this every day I would.”

I’m not kidding—he said it again, slowly, so I could write it down. SUCCESS!!!

Tonight’s dinner is planned already and believe it or not, it will use up the very last of our Greenling items from last week. I mean, talk about perfect planning. Tomorrow morning we’ll get a new box at our doorstep. Ah, this is the life.


Jill said...

Hi Amber,
I just found your blogs via facebook and can't wait to wade leisurely through the posts! From the looks of it, we blog about similar things - bikes, vegetables, etc., etc. I'm living in DC and doing Lutheran Volunteer Corps, so creating a diet that is cost-effective, sustainable and healthy is quite the challenge. I look forward to reading about some of your meal ideas. If you ever want a guest post, let me know. --Jill