NEW NIÇOISE SALAD WITH SARDINES AND TARRAGON DRESSING
½ lb (250 g) small fingerling potatoes
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 to 6 red or yellow baby beets
½ lb (250 g) French beans, trimmed and left whole or cut on diagonal
6 quail eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and halved
1 cup (250 ml) assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
½ English cucumber, unpeeled, thinly sliced into rounds
6 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ lb (250 g) smoked sardines, boned and skinned
1 cup (250 ml) Niçoise olives
1 garlic clove
½ tsp (2 ml) salt, or to taste
⅓ cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup (60 ml) flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh tarragon
2 tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
liquid honey, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To prepare quail eggs, place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Set heat to high and once water begins to simmer, gently roll eggs around in saucepan with a wooden spoon. Rolling will move yolk into centre. Bring water to a boil; boil for 3 minutes; then remove from heat and let stand in water for 2 minutes. Drain and cool eggs under cold running water. Drain. Gently shake saucepan so eggs roll around and shells break. Peel and cut eggs into halves.
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Cut fingerlings into bite-sized pieces and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender but still firm. Remove and cool to room temperature
- Meanwhile boil beets in saucepan with water until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, cool and peel. Cut into quarters.
- Blanch beans in boiling water; drain and plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Drain and blot dry. Add with Quail eggs.
- Halve tomatoes; slice cucumbers and radishes. Arrange all ingredients in rows on a platter. Refrigerate while making dressing.
- To make TARRAGON DRESSING: Press garlic on cutting board with flat side of a chopping knife. Sprinkle with salt, mince and scrape salt and garlic together, forming a paste. Transfer paste to blender along with remaining dressing ingredients. Whirl until smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides of bowl a couple of times. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be made a few hours ahead.
- Drizzle salad with dressing.