I had some haricots verts left over. My first thought was to make a salade Nicoise. And then I thought, how about trying something a little different, a pasta salade Nicoise?
Along with the pasta and haricots verts, I could iinclude the tomatoes and Kalamata olives from the salade Nicoise. Mix the tuna in and the taste of the tuna would overwhelm the other ingredients in the salad, so that should be served on the side. I also thought that serving the egg on the side would be best.
I tend to be fussy in choosing the pasta for my pasta salads. I think it’s important that it complements the other ingredients in the salad. Here, the haricots verts are very thin, so I thought it best to have a smaller pasta. I found the mini farfalla, which worked well.
With combinations like this, you know before making the salad that it will be good. But I was surprised by just how well the pasta salad complemented the tuna and egg. This really is a serious competitor to the traditional salade Nicoise.
Pasta salade Nicoise
1–1/2 cups haricots verts cut into 1 to 1–1/2-inch pieces
1 hard-cooked egg, sliced into quarters lengthwise
3/4 cup mini farfalla
10 grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
10 Kalamata olives cut in half lengthwise
yellowfin tuna in olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 clove (or 1 very small clove) garlic, pressed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon herbes de provence
fresh ground pepper
Sometime before serving the salad, bring water to the boil, put in the haricots verts, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until just tender crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water to keep the color. Refrigerate. This would also be a good time to cook the egg.
When you are ready to make the salad, cook the mini farfalla following package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
Mix the pasta, haricots verts, tomatoes, and olives in a bowl. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, mustard, and spices. Pour over the pasta salad and mix. Put on the plate and add the tuna and egg on the side.