My Favorite Salad in Boston

Nicoise Salad

Shortly after finishing my winter of ski-bumming up at Whistler, I used some expiring Jet Blue miles to go back to Boston for two weeks to visit my old friends. I had one priority: dog pile with all of my favorite people in this world. But while this trip was all about catching up with friends, there were two things I had to eat before I came home: the Boston Strangler Hot Dog from the Lower Depths in Allston, and the Nicoise Salad from Parish Cafe in the Back Bay.

Photo Credit: Shannon Heuklom

But guess what? As I boarded the plane home, I realized I hadn’t even thought about either dish the entire time I was visiting. But can you guess what I thought about the whole flight home? After 6 hours of in-flight cravings, the first stop on my way home from the airport was to the grocery store.

Chives from the garden

So to satisfy my craving and for all of you who can’t wander down Boylston street to try it, here’s my take on my favorite salad in all of Boston. Enjoy!

LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

Recipe after the jump.

Nicoise Salad
Adapted from Parish Cafe in Boston

Mixed greens
String beans
Cherry tomatoes
Kalamata olives
Hard boiled egg
Chives or green onions
Small ahi tuna steak
Wasabi Aioli
Lemon olive oil salad dressing

In a medium bowl, combine mixed greens, al dente string beans until al dente, chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and a hard boiled egg. I’ll leave the ratio of lettuce to all the other goodies up to you.

Sear marinated Ahi tuna steak on the grill or in a very hot frying pan and place on top of your salad. Add a dollop of wasabi aioli to the tuna and dress salad with lemon olive oil dressing. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions. Recipes for marinade, wasabi aioli, and salad dressing are below.

Tuna Steak Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon chopped chives
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Wasabi Aioli
2 large egg yolks (room temperature)
3 teaspoons lemon juice
3 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups neutral oil (vegetable or light tasting olive oil)
1 ½ tablespoons wasabi paste (more to taste depending on how much kick you want!)
1 teaspoon soy sauce

In a medium bowl or food processor, whisk together egg yolk, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp lemon juice until frothy. Whisking fast and consistently (or leaving the food processor running), very slowly dribble in the oil until mayonnaise begins to thicken. When the mayonnaise emulsifies (you’ll notice because it puffs up), you can add the oil in a thin stream, instead of drop by drop. Once oil is incorporated, add the rest of the vinegar and lemon juice, salt, wasabi paste and soy sauce. Makes about a cup and a half of aioli, which will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Lemon Olive Oil Salad Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together in a small bowl and drizzle over salad.

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