May 22 - 28 2016: Issue 264
For months now, at dawn, you can smell Autumn close to the ground – that coolness, that smell of the earth and leaves changing is tangible. It’s not quite Chicken and Leek Pie followed by Chocolate self-saucing pudding and a small heap of fresh whipper cream season, nor is it the days when you exist on homemade sorbets – it’s somewhere in between.
The perfect food for this season will always be a combination of what is In Season; it’s fresh, you won’t need a bank loan to buy it, and as with all seasons, what comes in season is usually what your body needs to maintain peak fitness and healthiness.
Autumn is Nicoise Salad with a twist season here. Thick steaks of wild caught tuna can be bought in that great fish shop at Mona Vale and in season green beans, potatoes, plump tomatoes still available, maybe even some roasted eggplant tossed in for extra taste, are combined for something not too heavy and not too light.
A traditional Nicoise salad usually includes raw red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts, anchovies, boiled eggs, tomatoes and Nicoise olives and other seasonal raw vegetables, but according to many sources, excludes cooked vegetables, such as green beans and potatoes, those items in variations of salade niçoise served around the world.
The fundamentals can be adjusted though, it’s the combination of tastes that make that ‘yum’ in the mouth and will give you pure vim at dawn. Although many will tell you to use canned tuna it is well worth allowing yourself to have the fresh version, cooked rare to medium or just seared. Anchovies are a love them or leave them option too – we love them, they’re always in.
At the other polarity end of Spring, when many will serve this salad, is Autumn, and that’s a time of year that suits this dish too.
Nicoise Salad with a Caesar Twist
6 (about 300g) baby coliban (chat) potatoes
150g green beans, topped
60ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
2 (about 250g each) tuna steaks
2 fresh tomatoes (we used vine-ripened)
100g (1/3 cup) kalamata olives
1 cup fresh continental parsley leaves
75 grams freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Pop the eggs in when you turn the potatoes off – the residue heat will cook them so they’re not too hard. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the potatoes to a chopping board. Halve. Add the beans to the pan and let these rest in the residue heat too. This will take away some of their crispness but still keep them bright green and with some crunch. Refresh under cold running water. Drain.
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add tuna and cook for 2-3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Set aside for 5 minutes to rest. Flake the tuna into large pieces or leave as one piece to place on your salad base.
Divide the evenly among serving plates. Place tuna atop salad mix and a few seasoned potatoes to the side. Eat!
Recipe Ideas - Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
Make Your Own Treats For Christmas Gifts - Jaffa Rum Balls, White Christmas, Gingerbread People, Spicy Nut Mix, Strawberries Dipped in Christmas, Scottish Shortbread, Spanish Polverones, Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies), Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Biscuits), Italian Lemon Shortbread Squares (Shortbread con crema al limone)
Pittwater Restaurants, Cafés and Bistros
Home Grown Food Program in Fruit and Veg Month by Jess Rosman
RMYC Ladies Lunch for July(2012); 'Boosting Your Brain and turning Your Stress Into Success' by Dr. Helena Popovic
To list your business, have a Pittwater Online News Food page run, or place a logo on the Pittwater Online News Food page, please contact us with details of your requirements.
Logos may be embedded to redirect to your own website.
Full pages include an overview of menus as well as beautiful images to make the food sampled look its best.
Full pages are archived into Permanent pages past their week of Issue.
Permanent pages in Pittwater Online News average 800 thousand visits per annum past their week of Issue ensuring diners will continue to view your eatery as a potential venue for breakfast, lunch or dinner or as the place to hold their larger functions.
For Rates and Packages Contact us at: