When we lived in first Francophone African country, Niger, I learned to love a good Salad Niçoise. There is just something really amazing about the combination of briny capers (or olives, if you choose), tuna, boiled potatoes and haricot vert along with a tangy mustardy vinaigrette. I know, it may seem odd to have developed a love of a classic French salad in an African country but ... stranger things have happened. (Still working on figuring out the way they made the Provencal sauce for the fish. It, too, still sticks in my mind.)
Anyway, thankfully, a Niçoise is easy to master. You can change the elements as you like, subbing in other fish, or cooking methods. This is a version I made last week: everything is roasted. Easy weeknight dinner, with easy clean-up since I always line my pans with foil (yes, I know the veggies brown better without the foil, but ... I really am not a fan of scrubbing baking pans).
Sorta Salmon Niçoise
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered (pieces should be about 1 1/2 inches big)
2-3 T olive oil
4 x 120 g salmon fillets , skin on, scaled, pin-boned
smoked paprika, to taste, optional
6 large eggs, boiled 8 minute (we like ours to have yolks that are a bit jammy; if you like yours cooked harder, boil them longer)
2 T dijon mustard
6 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
2 T capers, rinsed
salt and pepper
mixed salad greens, for serving
mixed olives, if you like
Heat oven to 375. Line 2 baking pans with foil. On one of the pans, toss green beans and potatoes with enough olive oil to coat thinly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until starting to brown. Stir, trying to turn potatoes to get color on the second side. Return to oven to continue roasting 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, on the second pan, lay the salmon, skin side down. Season each fillet with salt and pepper. If using, sprinkle a small amount of smoked paprika on each fillet. Once the vegetables have roasted for the 45 minutes, move the roasting pan with the fish into the oven along with the pan of veggies (one on each rack). Remove the fish from the oven when it is lightly cooked, after about 15 minutes. Let rest while veggies finish cooking (check them, they may already be done).
While veggies and fish are cooking, peel the eggs. Cut each in half. Set aside.
Make the dressing: in a small glass or bowl, combine mustard and vinegar until smooth. Whisk in olive oil, until emulsified. Stir in capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, toss a handful of salad greens on each plate. Top with flakes of fish, roasted beans and potatoes, and couple egg halves. Drizzle dressing on salad. Add olives, if you like. Serve with more dressing on the table.