Ever since eating my first Niçoise salad, I’ve been hooked. The perfect green beans. The Kalamata olives (my favorite). The potatoes, which give just the right amount of sustenance to the salad. And of course, the seafood. Throw in hard-boiled eggs and a delicious dressing, and you’ve made the classic.
Well, last week, the urge for a Niçoise salad hit and it hit bad. Since I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand for the classic, I decided to mix it up a bit and do my own take. Leftover sweet potato subbed for white potatoes, kale subbed for lettuce, capers subbed for olives and sardines subbed for tuna/anchovies. Plus some fresh basil from my beloved Farmed Here and black garlic — a new obsession — to add a little more flavor. Top it off with a 3-ingredient Dijon vinaigrette and I was in Niçoise heaven (or at least my improvised version of it).
Oh and no offense to the Niçoise peeps, but I feel my version is quite possibly tastier and most definitely packed with more nutrients than the original — from the “superfood” status of kale to the omega-3 content (it’s high, folks) of sardines to the antioxidant power of fresh herbs.
Recipe: Kale and Sweet Potato Niçoise Salad
Trader Joe’s just started carrying fermented black garlic, which is where I bought it. If you live near an Asian market, however, you will most certainly find it there. Fresh rosemary or thyme would also be delicious in place of the basil.
Yields: 1 salad
- 3 cups fresh baby kale (love the Earthbound Organic pre-washed Kale)
- 1/2 large sweet potato
- 1, 6 oz. can water-packed sardines
- 1 cup cooked green beans
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
- 1 Tbsp capers, juices drained
- 1 clove fermented black garlic, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp olive oil, preferably organic, cold-pressed
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Pepper to taste
Poke holes in sweet potato and microwave for 3-5 minutes, until potato is soft. You can also use a leftover baked sweet potato if you have one on hand. Cut the sweet potato into large wedges.
Assemble salad: Lay kale on top of a large plate. Top kale with cut sweet potato, can sardines (drained), cooked green beans, capers, sliced black garlic and fresh basil. Grind black pepper over the salad.
Make dressing: Mix Dijon mustard, olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over salad.
Warning: this salad is best enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Your coworkers will not be very pleased if they have to smell sardines and garlic over the cube wall. Just sayin’…