Sunday, November 22, 2009

Office picnic: salad Niçoise

We had planned on picnicking on the tenth-floor balcony in my building: the views of the bay are fantastic, and we had tickets for London Globe Theater Company's rendition of Loves Labour's Lost, which was on campus. But it was one of the first truly miserable pouring rain days in November. The balcony picnic turned into an office picnic, with a view of Oakland if not the bay.

For a picnic Niçoise salad, combine in a large tuperware:
  • lettuce, washed, dried, and ripped into pieces
  • sweet potato, cut into wedges, simmered 10 minutes, then chilled ten minutes in ice water
  • one can anchovies, washed and with the bones removed
  • Nicoise olives
  • cherry tomatoes
Also make a salad dressing with a shallot or garlic, minced, and balsamic vinnaiger and oil; keep it in a mustard jar. Most importantly, sear tuna (allow half a pound per person), so that the outer centimeter is cooked and the inner raw (use a non-stick pan and very high heat). With a sharp knife, slice tuna into medallions, and bring in a separate tupperware. Dress the salad, plate, and add the fish at the picnic spot.

Don't forget blankets, silver wear, plates, cups, and a good red wine, preferably a Zinfandel. Find a YouTube fireplace to temper the cold, and for background play a Hilary Hahn CD off of iTunes.

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