Niçoise with Pasta

Niçoise with Pasta, page 125

I've not had a traditional Niçoise salad before and butcher the name when I try to speak it, making this salad a little intimidating. I am not a fan of anchovies and was thankful this salad excluded them, using tuna. One of the great things about this salad is that it is quick and easily made with items I typically have on hand. It isn't all veg and didn't require me to grill chicken or another meat for protein.

Our family has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work and stay in Africa for different periods of time. When we were there for a 3 month stay, we had the most amazing garden and an even more amazing gardener, Dama. He is a dear friend to our family, a hard worker, the vegetables he grew were the best we have ever eaten and all from seed. The heads of lettuce he grew were beautiful and the salads we made were too. The beauty of being in the part of Rwanda where we stay is this: Life is easier and slower, more difficult and time moves fast...a living oxymoron.

(Dama in the bottom left holding seed packets I brought to him as a gift.)

There is a point to this story ~ Salad Dressing. There is none at the market nor at the 5 & 5 grocery. If by some random act, salad dressing makes it to the shelf, is often old and crazy, crazy expensive, so we go without. We use lemon, salt and pepper, sometimes mustard. We are able to enjoy the flavors of the vegetables mixed and their crispness. Much better than soggy, drippy veggies. Yes?

On my first trip to the salad dressing aisle in the States I was overwhelmed and maybe I even cried. (When I'm exhausted  (jet lag) and (+) overwhelmed (500 varieties of dressing), (=)  I cry.) I wanted Dama's lettuce, a lemon, salt and pepper. I walked away, nothing from the shelf in my cart and walked to to the produce section, picked up some lemons. That has been our dressing ever since -- until last week when I made this salad.

I admit, I was a little hesitant to pour it over the top and I stuck my finger in the dressing for a taste test before the poured, delicious.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: green beans
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I swapped peas for green beans, spinach for romaine, corn pasta for wheat pasta and rice vinegar for white
What I'll try next time: I will make 2 different pastas, one GF and one FG for my boys. I also think it would be great with a mix of spinach and romaine.
How it Scored:
Elliott: 3.5, he was not a fan of the corn pasta
'becca: 4.5, I ate it warm and chilled, for dinner as lunch the following day
Jonathan: 4

No comments:

Post a Comment