Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad

A healthy, cool, hearty, delicious, Mediterranean Diet inspired meal that has a little something for everyone… what more could you ask for?

Ingredients:

3 cups organic baby spinach
1 small head of organic romaine, trimmed, leaves left whole
4 large eggs, hard boiled, cooled, peeled, halved
1 English or hot house cucumber
2 large heirloom tomatoes cut into large slices (or 2 cups cherry tomatoes)
1/2 pound washed, trimmed fresh green beans, par boiled and cooled
2 pounds new potatoes boiled in salt water until just fork tender, and cooled
2 teaspoons capers
1/2 small red onion sliced thinly (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup lemon stuffed olives(we got ‘em!)
fresh chopped Italian parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 pound of cooked and cooled meat/protein of choice such as smoked, poached or grilled salmon, poached or grilled chicken, grilled steak, seared tuna, fried or baked tofu, etc. (there are no wrong answers here)

Dressing:

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 anchovy fillet (optional)
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of UP or infused olive oil of choice (I used Hojiblanca here but dill, garlic, lemon, orange, lime, picual, etc. would all be great here)

Directions:

Add the vinegar, lemon juice, anchovy fillet, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and cheese to the jar of a blender or food processor bowl. Pulse to combine well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thickened.

Assembly:

In a large bowl, toss the cooked and cooled baby potatoes with two tablespoons of the dressing. On a large platter just before serving, arrange a bed of baby spinach topped with the whole Romaine lettuce leaves. Arrange the various components around the platter with the meat, fish or protein showcased in the center. Add a grind of fresh black pepper and serve the platter with the dressing on the side.

Serves 6 as a meal or up to 10 as a starter