A sort of Salad Niçoise

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… well at least it is inspired by the traditional French recipe but the way we had it a few nights ago. A really easy meal that is fresh, full of vegetables and will also really sustain you (the potatoes, eggs and fish make it ‘stick to your insides’). At our house it was a staple Friday night dinner because it was healthy, fresh, quick and easy. I’ve added a few variations … because I had different ingredients! Steamed/blanched broccoli is good too, as are olives. When I made this one I accidentally pulled the tinned salmon (not tuna)* off the shelf and it was fine like that too!

Ingredients:
Torn up lettuce leaves
Baby spinach leaves
2 roma tomatoes
1/2 red capsicum
1/2 Lebanese cucumber
1 handful of green beans
1/2 eggplant
Spray oil
salt and pepper
1 shallot
boiled eggs (about 1 1/2 to 2 per person)
baby potatoes (about 3-4 per person)
tin or two of tuna (in olive oil if you like, then you won’t need as much olive oil to dress the salad*)
Olive oil
1/2 lime
salt and pepper

Method:
1. Boil the eggs (into rapidly boiling water for 6-7 minutes – this will give you a slight softness in the yolk). Remove from the hot water and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the grey ring of sulfur developing round the yolk. Peal as soon as they are cool to touch (in the bowl they have cooled in with the water … this usually helps get the shells off).
2. Cut the potatoes in half or small pieces (so they are all roughly the same size) and boil in a big saucepan. Remove and set aside to cool.
3. ‘Top and tail’ the beans (remove the tops and the bottoms) and cut in half. Blanch the in boiling water till just done, place in cold water to refresh. Set aside for assembly.
4. Slice eggplant finely, spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake till soft. Set aside for assembly.
5. Tear iceberg lettuce leaves and toss with baby spinach leaves in serving bowl. Add the chopped roma tomatoes, capsicum and cucumber. Half the eggs and add both the potato and eggs. Toss salad gently.
6. Top with finely sliced shallot and eggplant strips.
7. Serve with chunks of tuna, olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper.

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