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Need…water. It's so hot out. Need protein and vegetables and light carbs. Screw every drop of batter, fry basket and steak on earth. Just give me something I can digest and which won't make me feel like a sweaty sloth. I realize you're probably expecting a link to a sloth meme. It's not going to happen. 

So I turn to one of my favorite hot weather lunches, Salade Niçoise  or as the Americains put it, nicoise salad. It's refreshing, packs an easy protein punch and has a nice acidic bite that cuts through the most humid, sticky, miserable, GOD IT IS SO HOT OUT.

First, here is my time-tested recipe for nicoise salad.

And here are my ideas for keeping it fresh:

  • Make a huge batch of nicoise pasta salad nobody will dare refer to as tuna pasta salad. 
  • Construct a classic nicoise over a bed of rice. Nicoise rice salad? Didn't I see that in Saveur? Nope, I made it up.
  • While we're on the rice train, make nicoise temaki. There's never been a better time to employ Japanese mayo. Wasn't that one of the original sushirritos? Negatory, but I'm sure my check's in the mail.  
  • Make a more ambitious form of this deep-fried fresh tuna burrito. Deep-fried fresh tuna nicoise burrito? Didn't I see that on the menu at Spiaggia? No, but I expect I've piqued Chef's interest.

So take that basic formula of tuna, tomatoes, green beans, warm potatoes, olives, hard-boiled eggs and herb vinaigrette off that bed of salad greens, if you would. I myself am about to go all nicoise on a tuna burger, Test Kitchen-style. It will be delicious and photogenic, and won't make me feel like a soggy beached porpoise.

More hot weather lunches on Food Republic: