This St. Patrick's Day, show your little sprites how to assemble an irresistible Niçoise-style salad bursting with a rainbow of colors! Kids put their measuring, slicing, and taste-testing skills to work as they prepare this nutritious dish. A couple of non-traditional ingredients (yellow corn and bleu cheese) are used to round out the rainbow, but if she prefers other foods, such as yellow squash and blueberries, she can use those instead! The beauty of this salad is its flexibility—let your child take liberties with the recipe and create a rainbow salad all her own.
What You Need:
- ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 4-6 ounces ahi tuna or 2 cans tuna, drained
- 2 heads butter or Romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and torn
- 4-5 Campari or other ripe tomatoes, halved
- 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cooked corn
- 4-6 ounces green beans, cooked, shocked in ice water, and dried
- ¼ cup bleu cheese
- 1 red onion, very thinly sliced
- Handful of small potatoes such as French fingerling, Yukon gold, or red new, boiled and halved
- 2-3 hard boiled eggs, halved or quartered
- Handful of Niçoise olives
- Sprinkling of capers (optional)
- Anchovies (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
What You Do:
- In a bowl, have your child combine all of the dressing ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly drizzle the oil into the dressing, stirring constantly.
- In a separate container, toss the tomatoes, potatoes and green beans together with two or three tablespoons of the dressing. Set them aside to marinate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Heat the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil in a small pan over medium high heat.
- Season the tuna steak with salt and pepper. Place it in the pan and sear for one minute then flip and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove to a plate or cutting board to cool. If you are using canned tuna instead of fresh, simply remove the tuna from the cans and continue with step 5.
- Now it's time to assemble the salad. Have your child arrange the lettuce on a large serving platter. Slice the ahi steak into strips and place them on the lettuce bed, or arrange the canned tuna on the lettuce.
- Form a rainbow presentation that moves clockwise around the tuna. Remember Roy G. Biv: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Ask your child to arrange the tomatoes on the bottom left, followed by the orange bell pepper, yellow corn, green beans, bleu cheese, and red onion (which looks purple). The olives and eggs can go in the remaining space.
- Add the capers, anchovies, and fresh parsley to the platter, if using. These ingredients are common in Niçoise salads, but it's fine to omit them if your child doesn't like the way they taste.
- Drizzle the dressing all over the salad. Step back and admire your creation before digging in!