Santa Maria called our dinner tonight “Get him/her to marry you salad.” To the rest of the world it is known as salad nicoise, but to her it was something more. “I was craving chocolate earlier today,” she said, “and then I thought of having this salad for dinner.”
Most of the time, cooking around the Stay at Stove Dad house is a frenetic affair, kind of like watching a pot boil over. But tonight, the stars must have been aligned because Santa Maria and I stood side by side after the kids went to bed and made dinner like proper adults, and ate it at a time—8:30—that was appropriate for life in New York City.
This is a dish that’s easy to make, but all the chopping and washing can be time consuming. Having a partner beside you in the kitchen makes it go all the more quickly.
I started by boiling the potatoes and eggs as soon as I came home from work.
I went on to wash the arugula, cook the green beans, and get ready to assemble the salad. But first I had to put the kids to bed.
Once the kids were in bed, Santa Maria started to cut up the red onion (we were out of shallots). When I saw her using serrated knife, I had to stop her.
She didn’t know that using a serrated knife on an onion can result in more tears than using a straight-edged knife. Because we are already married and with kids, there are more than enough tears around the house on a regular day, so I kindly suggested she use a different knife. She thanked me, and finished making the dressing. For more on what knife is the best knife for the job, check out Simple Bites: Know Your Knives. For the nicoise recipe, see below.
Get Him/Her to Marry You Salad Nicoise
- 2 red potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes
- A fistful of green beans, steamed
- Enough arugula for two (or about ½ head Romaine Lettuce, washed and torn into bit sized pieces)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup pitted nicoise olives
- ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes (or more)
- 1 can tuna in oil
- 4-6 anchovies
For the dressing:
- Olive oil
- White-wine vinegar
- Thyme, to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots (or red onion, in a pinch)
- Salt and Pepper
Combine the potatoes, beans, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, and eggs in a bowl.
Mix the ingredients for the dressing, to taste.
Dress the salad, and top with tuna and anchovies