Last week, my CSA gave me almost all of the ingredients for a solid nicoise salad: little red potatoes, green beans (technically we got both haricots vert and regular old green beans). We only missed the tomatoes (which I had on hand), the olives (which I tasked JBB with getting), the eggs (also on hand), and tuna (which would never come near my salad nicoise because I hate seafood and fish--that's another post for you).
And so, dinner was born! Well, technically, dinner for me. Because let's face it, my kids would much rather go to town on some buttered noodles and broccoli (trust, I know I'm lucky on the broccoli front), and JBB would rather die than have anything that includes olives come near him. WHATEVER MORE FOR ME THEN,SUCKERS.
Normally, this would be a composed salad that you'd arrange prettily on the plate. But screw that. I was hungry so I threw everything--save the eggs--into a bowl and tossed it all together with the dressing, then ate it.
First thing I did was to cut the potatoes down to bite-size pieces, the pop them into some heavily salted, cold water in a saucepan. I brought that to a boil, and while that was taking forever to boil, I trimmed the green beans. I hate trimming green beans, but I hate the stem ends more, so trim I do.
Once the potatoes were boiling, I let them cook for about 8 minutes, or until a fork went into a piece relatively easily. While they were cooking, I took a big salad bowl and made some vinaigrette in the bottom of it.
Here's where the lazy comes into play: Rather than draining the potatoes and then setting another pot of water on to cook the beans, I fished the potatoes out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and put them them into the bowl with the vinaigrette in it, and then dropped the green beans into the already boiling salted water for about 2 minutes. When the green beans were cooked but still crunchy, I drained the whole thing and added them to the potatoes, and tossed with the dressing while everything was still warm.
I don't do seafood, so no tuna, but I do love eggs on things, so I rinsed out the saucepan a bit, and then filled it back up with cold water, added three eggs, and made some perfect 8 minute eggs. (Remember: cold water plus eggs; bring to boil; cover, turn off heat, and set timer; when timer goes off, dunk in ice water and eat.)
While the eggs were perfecting, I chunked up some tomatoes, and threw in a bunch of pitted kalamata olives that JBB had grabbed from Trader Joe's, tossed those in with the potatoes and green beans. Then once the eggs were done, and dunked in ice water to cool them quickly, I peeled them, quartered them, and added them (and more salt and pepper) to the salad.
And then I ate it all. (Not really--I had a ton left over so I had more the next day)