My trip this past weekend to one of Tucson’s many Farmers Markets was most fruitful! Well, mostly it was vegetableful – perfect green beans, fresh new potatoes and salad greens, all locally grown. Today I combined them with some other on-hand ingredients to create one of my favorite composed salads, Salad Niçoise
I boiled the green beans in plenty of salted water until tender. This method cooks the beans faster and more evenly than steaming. The potatoes were cubed and tossed in olive oil with salt, pepper and some red bell pepper that needed to be consumed, and roasted in a hot oven until crisp on the edges. My preferred approach to boiling eggs – place eggs in a pan, cover with cool water, and bring to boil uncovered. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover and allow to sit for 30 minutes before rinsing in cool water.
I can certainly appreciate a fancy restaurant Nicoise with a chunk of seared Ahi Tuna on top, but I also really like the canned stuff. I found a nice variety of pole and troll caught Wild Albacore at Wild Planet Foods
I also had some young homegrown garlic on hand so it went into a simple Lemon–Garlic Vinaigrette
The beans, potatoes, and tuna are marinated generously and separately in the vinaigrette (the beans and potatoes while still warm). Place a bed of greens on your plate and arrange sections of each ingredient on top, thus composing the salad as you go. I like them at room temperature but you may want to chill everything first. Either way it is a lovely and satisfying summer meal.
Especially if you have a big chunk of beautifully baked fresh bread, which is what got me to the Farmers Market in the first place. Here in Tucson we are blessed with a unique bread baking venture –Barrio Bread
Barrio Bread is not your traditional bakery! Their business model is a CSB, Community Supported Baker. There is no retail store, instead the bread is offered at different locations in the community. Don carefully crafts every loaf of Barrio Bread and has a small and dedicated team to assist in the distribution and sales. Production is driven by a pre-order system or a Bread Share at the Tucson CSA. This maximizes the use of resources and minimizes waste and spoilage, thus creating a smaller carbon footprint. The CSB model also ensures the freshest and healthiest bread for the bread lovers of our community. I tried the Cranberry Walnut and Pain au Levain – both wonderful. Can’t wait to try the other varieties, and incorporate them into some of my breakfast recipes for our guests!
Shopping at the Farmers Market gives me a warm glow – both because I am supporting these vital food producing efforts and because it truly inspires me to take better care of myself. And you know, a well nourished innkeeper is a happy innkeeper!