Fresh vegetables, salty olives, ready made or quickly seared chicken make a beautiful, edible spread in this unconventional version of Salad Nicoise. A simple vinaigrette or your favorite bottled dressing make this salad an easy crowd pleaser!
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin optional (300gm)
- Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- 1/2 cup + 1 T olive oil (90 ml +10 ml)
- 2 oz broth or dry white wine (60 ml)
- 8 oz new potatoes (225 gm)
- 8 oz green beans (225 gm)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (200 gm)
- 1/2 cup mixed, pitted olives (100 gm)
- 2 T white vinegar OR lemon juice (30 ml)
- salad greens of choice
- fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
- Make chicken: Wash and pat dry chicken breasts. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. In a medium size skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 4 minutes on each side. Add wine or broth and cook over high heat until liquid has almost evaporated. Remove from heat, cover and let cool. (Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 F for at least 5 seconds.) When cool, slice each breast lengthwise into 1 -2 inch slices.
- Make potatoes and green beans: Add potatoes and 1T kosher salt to a deep pot. Fill with cool water to cover. (Set the green beans near the stove. You’ll use the same hot water to cook the beans after removing the potatoes from the pot.) Bring potatoes to a boil over medium heat and continue boiling 20 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced through with a fork.
- While the potatoes boil, make the eggs: Place in a single layer in a shallow pot with a lid. (No lid? Use foil or two tea towels to cover.) Cover eggs completely with cold water. With lid off, bring eggs to a rolling boil (lots of bubbles!) over medium heat. Once they are boiling vigorously, remove pot from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a mixing bowl with ice.
- After ten minutes, use a slotted spoon to gently remove eggs to the ice bowl and fill with cold water. Cool eggs at least 5 minutes. To peel, tap each egg all over against the counter surface to crack the shell, then gently roll it back and forth a few times. Begin peeling from wider end. The shell should come off easily. If not, let soak in cold water a few minutes and try again.
- Set eggs aside or refrigerate until ready to use. Slice 4 of the eggs into quarter wedges or slices.
- Without draining the potato water, remove cooked potatoes and let cool. Return potato water to a rolling boil, add green beans and cook just 3 -4 minutes. While the green beans cook, fill a mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Drain green beans and place into “ice bath” for a few minutes, then dry with paper towels.
- Make the dressing: In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar with ½ t each salt and pepper and whisk to dissolve. Slowly add in 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk again. Adjust for seasonings. ( Add a 1 tsp. Dijon mustard if you like a thicker dressing.)
- Assemble salad: Layer the base of a salad bowl or platter with salad greens or lettuce of choice. Then beginning with the chicken, place each ingredient: green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, and olives side by side like a deli platter or arrange ingredients like a sundial * (see blog photos). Pour half of the blended dressing over salad and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired.
- Serve cold or at room temperature with extra salad dressing.