Dinner outside again! I lived in LA for three years and appreciated the weather every single day. You can be sure that I’ll also be able to sustain this glee through every single outdoor meal of Seattle’s short summer. Especially since it’s supposed to go right back to raining this week.
I took the picnic theme one step further by making a big main-dish composed salad, isn’t that summery? And I was quite pleased to be one-upped in the pretending-its-summer department by our friends who served a rum punch on the deck before dinner.
Salade Nicoise: Make an anchovy vinaigrette (1 part red wine vinegar, 2 parts olive oil, a spoonful of dijon, salt and pepper, plus anchovy paste or chopped anchovies to taste–or leave the anchovies out if you prefer). Hard boil, peel, and halve some eggs. Boil tiny potatoes in lightly salted water, and toss in a few handfuls of green beans for the last minute of cooking. Drain both. Before they cool, toss the beans with a spoonful of dressing. Halve the warm potatoes and toss with a few more spoonfuls of dressing, some thin slices of onion, and a handful of chopped parsley. Halve a basket of cherry tomatoes and toss them with a spoonful of dressing as well. Assemble as follows: Line a platter (or individual plates) with a torn head of lightly dressed lettuce. Add one pile each of beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and flaked hot-smoked salmon (of course, this is a frilly West-Coast-fusion adaptation; you could certainly go the traditional route and use tuna instead). Top with halved hard-boiled eggs and scatter oil-cured black olives all over the place.