Salad Niçoise {FFwD}

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was a perfectly simple, perfectly composed, and perfectly delicious salad.

Salad Nicoise

See, what did I tell you? Perfect.

This salad featured Bibb lettuce, parsley, boiled potatoes, hard-cooked eggs, steamed green beans, tuna, tomatoes, capers, Niçoise olives, homemade vinaigrette, and, the star of the show, anchovies. Although there were quite a few ingredients, and the potatoes, beans, and eggs had to be prepared ahead, the salad came together very quickly with minimal fuss and almost no clean up.

It might not surprise you to learn that we served this for lunch while the kids were away at school. We all really enjoyed this salad. It was pungent, salty, and quite filling, in that wonderful, salad-full sort of way.

Another keeper from Dorie to start out year four of French Fridays.

Quinoa, Fruit, and Nut Salad {FFwD}

There’s something you should know about me. I’m not a bandwagon kind of guy. Other than a brief and scarring few years in the ’80s, I’ve never been one to jump at the latest fad. And even in that decade of turned up collars and horrible music, I refused to wear parachute pants or sign a petition vilifying Scorsese for The Last Temptation of Christ.

So the fact that everyone these days seems to be eating, writing about, and developing recipes for quinoa has done nothing to make me want to add it to my diet. If anything, people’s adulation for this supposed uber-grain has turned me off to the idea of even trying it. So I wasn’t all that thrilled with this pick as the first French Fridays with Dorie recipe for April. I even thought about skipping it. But in the end, I decided to try it, if for no other reason than I thought the fruit, nuts, seeds, and vinaigrette might be a nice combination for a couscous salad.

I started by rinsing the quinoa, then cooking it in water to soften and expand the grains.

While the quinoa was cooking, I cut up some beautiful dried fruit that I got at the West Side Market in Cleveland. The mix contained kiwi, strawberry, mango, cantaloupe, papaya, starfruit, apple, craisins, pineapple, apricot, and several other fruits.

I mixed the chopped fruit with pumpkin and sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, and chopped parsley, stirred in the cooked and drained quinoa, then tossed the whole thing with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.

I had a picture of the finished product, but I somehow managed to delete it without first uploading it to my computer. You’ll have to trust me when I say it looked really appetizing.

And as for the taste, well, what can I say? Sometimes skepticism can be misplaced. I don’t know that I would eat quinoa plain like some people I know, but I could enjoy it with fruit, nuts, seed, and herbs anytime. It was best fresh, but even the next day, it was tasty and not all one big bowl of mush.