This is a very colourful, healthy composed salad. In a “composed salad,” the ingredients are cut and arranged on the plate, rather than being mixed together. I love this because my boys (four and six) can simply choose the ingredients they like — while I eat all of it!
Traditionally, Nicoise Salad is composed of various vegetables topped with tuna, anchovies, and Nicoise olives. Delicious! In this version, I use grilled chicken rather than tuna, and I omit the olives and anchovies. I love those things, but my boys are not crazy about them. Go figure!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt, pepper, olive oil
- 5 ounces mixed greens
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette (preferably using blackberries)
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 4 hard boiled eggs (see method for cooking hard boiled eggs)
- 1/2 pound haricots verts
Preheat a stove-top grill, season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Place the chicken on the grill — and here’s an important tip: you should hear a sizzling sound whenever you put any food onto the grill. If you don’t, your grill’s not hot enough. Wait until the grill is very hot and listen for the sizzle! Grill the chicken just until it’s cooked through, about four minutes per side. Cool to room temperature and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Put a steamer in a pot with the water level just below it. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil and then add the haricots verts to the rack and cover. Steam until they are slightly tender, about three minutes.
Wash and thoroughly dry the greens and place them on a large platter. Evenly pour about half of the vinaigrette over the greens. Top this with an arrangement of the tomatoes, eggs, haricots verts, and chicken. Use the remaining vinaigrette on top.
Some additional notes:
I adore the Berry-Balsamic Vinaigrette with this (and just about every other salad), but if you haven’t made it in advance, and are pressed for time, just splash it with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Grilling the chicken is wonderful, because it adds such a great smoky, charred flavor! If you don’t have a grill, you can use a saute pan (over high heat), following the same directions.