After any amount of time in Europe the cuisine seems to dominate my menu plan for the weeks following our return to the states. Our most recent journey abroad took The Farmer & I to Paris and Amsterdam. As we ate our way through Paris I immediately started thinking about ways to incorporate Parisian style cooking & dining back into my menus at home. If anyone knows how to truly enjoy a dining experience it’s the French. Cooking & dining should be about family, friends and loved ones coming together over a meal & a bottle (or two!) of wine. It should be enjoyed & experienced instead of rushed & thrown together. It should be relaxing – not stressful. It should be colorful & full of flavors blending together to create a unified combination of glorious & delectable food.
As we sit here on the cusp of summer, this dish is a lovely way to incorporate the last bits of farmers market finds & have fun with a twist on the classic French dish, Niçoise salad.
Deconstructed Salmon Niçoise
Here’s What You’ll Need:
8 oz Fresh Caught Alaskan Salmon (4 oz per serving)
1 small bag Oven Roasted Potatoes
6 oz Steamed Haricot Verts
1/2 cup each Marinated Tomatoes & Olives
1/2 Cucumber (sliced)
2 Hard Boiled Eggs (1 per person)
This meal is all about timing because there are sooo many pieces working together all at once, so put your multi-tasking chef hat on and…
Let’s Get Started:
1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees; this will be for the roasted potatoes which will take the longest to cook out of all of the ingredients. While your oven is pre-heating, halve your potatoes into a bowl & toss with EVOO, salt & fresh cracked pepper. Once the oven is up to temp, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, get those potatoes on there & pop it in, ensuring to set your timer for 45-50 minutes.
2. Once the potatoes are in, grab your tomatoes & olives so we can start that quick marinade. Halve your tomatoes & olives (we’re using kalamata olives) and place them in a small bowl. Add a splash of Balsamic Vinegar, fresh cracked pepper & oregano. Toss to combine & set aside until we’re ready to plate.
3. Next up, hard boiled eggs. If you’re smart (which I know you are!!) you have some of these laying around from Meal Prep Sunday. If not, bring your pot (with water & 1 egg per person) to a boil then immediately turn off the heat & cover for 10 minutes – set aside until they’re cool enough to peel & halve for plating.
4. We’re almost there! Prep your haricot verts (or green beans if you prefer!) and get your steamer ready; don’t start them just yet though, we’ll save these til the last few minutes!
5. Grab your cucumber & slice up a few pieces for each serving, set aside until we’re ready to plate.
6. Are you sensing the theme here yet? Prep, Prep, Prep, this gorgeous meal comes together at the very last moments before hitting the dinner table!
7. By now, you’ve got nearly all of your veggies ready & your potatoes are well on their way to being nice & roasted, we might as well get started on the star of this dish – fresh caught Alaskan salmon. Boy are we lucky that the in laws friends recently took a fishing trip up north & brought a ton of this gorgeous fish back to share!
8. As for seasoning, we’re partial to blackened seasoning but feel free to season as you’d like here. When ready to cook, pre-heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat with a splash of EVOO. Once up to temp, pan-sear your salmon until cooked to your liking – I don’t like to quote times when it comes to fish because it’s really going to depend on the size of the fillet & how “done” you like it. For us, it’s usually around 3 minutes per side which will leave the salmon medium in the center.
9. Now the madness begins… if you’ve timed things correctly your cucumbers and eggs are sliced and ready, your beans are ready BUT not yet cooked, your tomatoes & olives are marinated & your salmon is just finishing up in the skillet as you pull your potatoes out of the oven!
LOOK AT YOU, proper restaurant style chef skills there folks!
10. While your salmon is finishing up go ahead & steam those haricot verts (3-4 minutes or until cooked to your liking). Once steamed, toss with a splash of EVOO, fresh lemon juice, salt & fresh cracked pepper.
Dressing Options: Loads of options here folks, simply dress with EVOO & Balsamic Vinegar or a Light Lemon Vinaigrette are my tops suggestions – both would work lovely here!
As for plating, arrange as you’d like & marvel at all the glorious colors on your plate for this meal.
The Farmer’s Cocktail Pairing Recommendations include a martini, a white negroni or a classic gin & tonic.
Of course I think a crisp white wine would be lovely here as well or even a Pimm’s Cup!
Enjoy it y’all & let me know what you think!