God It Is So Hot Out! 4 Strategic Variations On The Nicoise Salad.

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: