For months now, I've had nicoise salad on my mind. Perhaps it is because of the new movie about Julia Child, perhaps it is because I long to visit France again, or perhaps it is because it i delicious. Traditionally it contains many non-vegan ingredients, but I have found many vegan-friendly recipes that all go above and beyond in their own ways. I'm not a stickler to the traditional ingredients, but by all means be loyal to them as you would like, keeping in mind that improvisation can go miles with this one.
I've made this using both tempeh and tofu. In the end I liked the tofu one better, as it tended to be a little more delicate in flavor and let the vegetables stand out more.
-mixed greens, or a small head of your favorite lettuce
-a generous handful each of green and wax
-about 3/4 pound small new potatoes
-1 large tomato or 1 red pepper
-1 block tofu, pressed and cut into wedges
-1 quarter of a red onion, sliced thinly
-1/2 cup black olives*
-2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
-1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-splash of lemon juice
-1 large shallot, minced
-1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Wash the potatoes and place in a saucepan. Add cold water until submerged in an excess of water (about an inch over the potatoes). Add sea salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for approximately 22-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. In the mean time, baked tofu in an over preheated to 375 on a baking sheet sprayed with oil olive cooking spray. Drizzle tofu with olive oil and add sea salt and ground black pepper. After 15 minutes or when brown, turn tofu wedges over, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to other side, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until browned.
Wash and trim all other vegetables while tofu and potatoes are cooking. Arrange mixed greens and top with green and wax beans and tomatoes or red pepper. Add black olives as desired. To make vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
When potatoes are done cooking, strain and rinse under cold water. Cut into halves or quarters, and place on greens. Add baked tofu, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
*There are no olives in the one in the picture, as I forgot to get them at the store! No worries, though, I will make this dish again and update the picture, most likely sooner rather than later!