You know how sometimes you just want a platter of food, maybe, say, on the coffee table, with your feet up, and you get to pick and graze and slouch to your heart's content? Well, I'm sure you are all refined and sophisticated and would never think of anything less than a perfectly set table and the proper utensils and all, but there are times when we just love to forego all that, put our feet up and lounge while we eat.
This is definitely one of our favorite lounge meals...a beautifully composed platter of nibbles that includes chunks of perfectly roasted salmon marinated in a mustardy sauce, al dente green beans, sliced, cooked yukon gold potatoes, halved hard-boiled eggs, chunks of tomato, and then the olives and cheese of your choice. This time I marinated some bocconcini balls in herbs and olive oil and set out green and black Cerignola olives. All of this is drizzled with more of the mustardy sauce and then served with a freshly baked baguette.
Oh my. Grazing never tasted so good. Now, I never do wine pairings...I'm just not that sophisticated really, especially when I'm reverting to slouching and grazing at dinner. But if you can get your hands on a bottle of Parsons Flat Padthaway (cab/shiraz blend), you will have the complete package deal. This stuff is dynamite! We found it at Trader Joe's in California and brought 6 bottles of it home with us. Only 3 left I'm sad to say.
So there you have it...the perfect meal for 2, 3, 8, 12 or 1. Just set it on the coffee table (or your lap) and have at it. No fork required, but a napkin is advised.
Salmon Nicoise Platter
For a printable recipe, click here
1 1/2 pounds skin-on fresh salmon fillets
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 of a pound small Yukon gold potatoes
1/2 pounds haricots verts or fresh green beans, stems removed
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in 1/2
1 bunch arugula, spinach or baby salad greens
1/2 pound large olives (a combination of green and black, oil-cured, cerignola and/or nicoise)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
For the marinade, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 1/2 tablespoon pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the salmon on a sheet pan that has been covered in aluminum foil, and drizzle the marinade over the salmon. Allow the salmon to sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a pan of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in thick slices and set aside.
Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the skin and break into large pieces.
Blanch the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. Drain again and set aside.
Arrange the salmon, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, eggs, salad greens and olives on a large flat platter. Drizzle more of the marinade dressing over the fish and vegetables and serve the rest in a pitcher on the side.