10 March 2010

Nicoise Salad and Bulgur Pita Rolls

Nicoise Salad and Bulgur Pita Rolls

Niçoise salad  (niˈswaz), sometimes referred to as Salade Niçoise or insalata nizzarda, is a type of salad popular throughout the world.  Salade niçoise hails from the Côte d'Azur region of France, and is named after the city of Nice. It is a combination of tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, eggs and canned tuna packed in oil.  It is typically topped with anchovies and Dijon vinaigrette.

If you're ever fortunate enough to go to Nice, you are bound to walk by many sidewalk cafés, brasseries, bistros and the like. As ubiquitous are the chalkboards that guard the entrances to these eateries, calling out the specials of the day. On almost all of them, you will find salade niçoise. When I was in Nice many years ago I was 18 years old and less likely to be seeking out a Nicoise salad than the local night clubs and beaches. How my perspective would change today!
As the days grow longer and commitments find me further from home I tend to move towards quick, healthy and delicious meals. Sandwiches will always fit well into this category. This sandwich from Canadian Chef Michael Smith is not the well-loved traditional tuna salad of my childhood with mayonnaise and sweet pickles, but, a twist loosely based on the classic Nicoise salad.  Instead of potatoes he adds bulgur wheat. To me this is a Middle East meets France kind of dish reminiscent of taboulleh and made with pita bread instead of French bread. To me this means extraordinary!!!

I personally love this sandwich, because it is easy to make and perfectly captures the flavours of the Mediterranean. It may even replace the traditional tuna salad in my books and provides you with a healthier alternative.

**Nicoise Salad and Bulgur Pita Rolls**
based on a recipe from Chef Michael Smith

1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

16 ounces green beans, tops trimmed
1 can tuna
1 small jar capers, drained
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cucumber, sliced into half moons
1 cup bulgur
Sprinkled sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 whole wheat pitas

Steam beans in a stovetop steamer or microwave for 2 minutes, until bright green and slightly tender. Meanwhile pour 2 cups of lightly salted boiling water over the bulgar and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the bulgur softens.

Toss the green beans, tuna, capers, red onion, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and cucumber into a large bowl. Add the bulgur and dressing and toss well. Serve in a large festive bowl or roll into pitas.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

16 comments:

  1. A pita filled with this tasty salad is my idea of a perfect meal. So many flavors and textures going on, and healthy too. Delish.

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  2. That is a healthy dish! A wonderful idea!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. This salad sounds especially delicious inside the yummy pita pocket!

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  4. Salade Nicoise is one of my dearest friend's favorite salads. I must try this for her!
    xoxo Pattie

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  5. That is hardly a sandwich, Val!! That is a feast!!!

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  6. This looks not only healthy but incredibly delicious. I love the idea of the salad in a pita to mix it up a bit. Great recipe!

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  7. I think it's a brilliant take on this salad in that pocket...more hearty!

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  8. I love the way you presented it! Can you believe I never made it at home? A great salad to make our diet happier ;D

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  9. i love the bulgur component of this, although i suspect most of it would end up in my lap or scattered about the table. what can i say, i'm a messy eater. :)

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  10. Pita bread is so versatile...anything would work! This is really healthy Val...I love the taste of bulgur.

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  11. Oh my Val, you're really getting into the Spring/Summer mode. This is the kind of lunch I want to eat outdoors, picnic bench.

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  12. I think this sounds amazing!!!

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  13. I've always pronounced it Nikoise... what a dummy - although I guess I always knew it was more french sounding!! It looks really lovely and is something I would enjoy on a hot day. Wait a minute, EVERY day is a hot day here ...

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  14. What a great idea, combining the two - delicious! I love nicoise salad. And Michael Smith. ;-)

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  15. We also hit Napa last August for the first time - my husband and I... for two full days only. One thing you didn't mention that is very different to me - is that the winery you stopped at for lunch is the only one in the entire valley with a license to serve food. None of the rest of them can. That is why you don't see weddings at these gorgeous winerys. I loved the Mondavi tour. Their educational centre is excellent, and the vintor who toured us that day was so interesting. Coming from Alberta - I have toured all over the Okanagan, and it is definitely more rustic that touring Napa... but that is the beauty of it. Sonoma was definitely worth the stop. The little town is gorgeous and the people so interesting. We did spend a night in a lovely little B and B and went for dinner at The French Laundry. Worth every penny and a meal of a life time... so, that was a fairytale place for me!
    :)
    Valerie

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  16. I love your healthier version here, Val. It would make a lovely picnic meal with the spring weather approaching.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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