My motivation for looking into main course salad was born out of sheer laziness. I was looking for a one-dish meal (less plates) that requires minimal cooking (less pots/pans) and packs lots of veggies as well as being filling. No skimpy wimpy diet salads for this gal.
So if I have to put this into a checklist of evaluating a salad, it would probably look like this.
Salade Nicoise has all the ticks in the check-boxes. Everything in this salad can be made ahead of time. Right down to the proteins of eggs and fish (either canned tuna or leftover grilled salmon). Now, isn't this dish time friendly?
The dressing for Salade Nicoise is just a simple olive oil and acid mix (ratio is 1 : 1.5)with shallots and herbs thrown in together with Dijon mustard. The recipe for the vinaigrette I used came from The New Best Recipe which you will be able to find it on Simply Recipe. I haven't had many main course salads in restaurants, but from the very few that I had eaten, the dressings were pungent, vinegarish or even biting to the tongue. So such experience taught me to be wary of vinaigrettes. However, when this vinaigrette came out, I was pleasantly surprised that it taste so smooth and had a good balance between oil and acid.
Boiled red potatoes, buttercup lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives (I prefer those canned black pitted olives), hard-boiled eggs and blanched green beans. Forget about the canned tuna, just bring me the salad as is. I was all set for dinner. Which by the way, I did forget to add the tuna. Who can blame me when even these supporting cast is already good enough on their own?
I had packed this for lunch the following day for Hubby. The vinaigrettes went into a screw-top bottle and I packed a can of tuna into his bag to top it on the salad. Now how convenient is that?