August 16, 2010

Tuna Salad Delight with French Dressing

1/2 new potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. shredded fresh basil
4 tbsp. French dressing
1 crisp lettuce, such as Romaine
1/4 lb. cheery tomatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, shelled, cooled and cut into wedges
14 oz. canned tuna in oil, drained and broken into chunks
1/2 cup black olives in oil, drained
2 oz. canned anchovies in oil
2-3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup. shredded cheddar cheese

    Cook the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
 Meanwhile, in another pan of salted boiling water, cook the green beans for about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.

    Drain the potatoes and leave them until they are cool enough to handle, then slice them. Let cool completely.
Add the garlic and herbs to the French dressing and whisk to mix. Check the seasoning.

     Separate the lettuce leaves, then arrange them around the edges of four individual plates. Halves the tomatoes and place with the eggs and potatoes, in the lettuce leaves, alternating the attractively.

     Place the tuna in the center and surround with olives. Drain the anchovies and arrange in a crisscross pattern on top. Scatter with the scallions and pour over the French dressing.

     Cover the salad loosely and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.

French Dressing Recipe:

This dressing is called vinaigrette in French, is a classic salad dressing and is very quick and easy to make. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, so it is worth making a large batch. Store it in a screw top jar and shake to remix before using. For really good flavor, use the best extra virgin olive oil and a good wine vinegar, and if you prefer extra texture you can use a coarse grain mustard instead of smooth Dijon. The nicest leafy herbs to use are tarragon, basil and parsley.  The quantity of dressing made here is enough for two large green or mixed salads each serving four to six people.

2 vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp. superfine sugar
salt and pepper
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped leafy fresh herbs

   Place the vinegar, mustard 2 tsp. sugar and salt and pepper in a bowl. Combine by whisking with a coil whisk. Continue whisking the mixture vigorously until the ingredients are evenly combined and thick.
Add the olive oil slowly in a thin, steady stream,whisking vigorously until it is all incorporated.
Taste the dressing and add more sugar and salt and pepper if you like. Stir in herbs just before serving.


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