I love composed salads and I love the Oscars! Last night, the two went hand in hand beautifully. We had some extra gals over for dinner to play amateur Joan Rivers with us, and I wanted to make something a little special, but still easy and healthy, for dinner. The weekend's warm, sunny weather put me in the mood for a summer dish, so my mom and I put together a DIY Salad Niçoise Bar... one of my very favorite dinners in the summer months.
The Barefoot Contessa, basing my version loosely on the Grilled Tuna Niçoise Platter concept in her original cookbook. You basically take all the components of a traditional Salad Niçoise, brighten and modernize them a bit, and let your guests construct their own plate. This dinner is always a hit! My version contains the following elements:
Seared tuna steaks (about 1/4 lb per person)
Hard boiled eggs (figure on 1 per person)
Haricots Verts (tossed with a bit of Champagne Vinaigrette)
A generous wedge of yummy blue cheese
Baby greens and Boston Bibb lettuce
A couple notes to ensure the success of your salad bar:
1) Searing is a tricky business.
2) Take the time to prepare a pretty presenation.
3) Make a killer dressing.
Et voilà! Salad Niçoise Bar! Perfect for an Oscar party, or any warm evening when you want a tasty and unique dinner for guests. As for the Oscars, with my new mom status, I hadn't seen a SINGLE ONE of the movies that were nominated, but that didn't stop me from soaking up all dresses and the pageantry, or from enjoying tearing apart every look to come down the red carpet (Charlize Theron, what's with the purple boob circles, lady?!). With this yummy dinner, a passion fruit cheesecake from Beach Pea, and some Spanish white wine, it was a perfect Oscar night in Maine.