Monday, March 26, 2012

Salad Niçoise

As many of my blog followers would know, I love to re-create meals that I've had when I go out to eat.

I recently spent some time in Perth and enjoyed a number of delicious meals. On the way home, we stopped for lunch at the Rainbow Cafe in Williams where I had Salad Niçoise. (pronounced nee-swahz)

I was a little disappointed as their wasn't much flavour in the dressing and everything was very cold, so today I've made my own version. I've adapted a recipe found at .

My version includes the anchovies in the dressing rather than as part of the salad and I added cucumber to the salad. I cooked the eggs, potatoes and beans in the Thermomix. They can easily be cooked on the stove. Simply pop the beans into the hot water after the eggs and potatoes have cooked.
If you have kipfler potatoes, they're the best for this, if not, baby potatoes will suffice.

Megan's Salad Niçoise
Serves 2

2 small cans Tuna in oil (less dry than the ones in springwater or brine)
4 chat potatoes, halved
2 eggs
small bundle green beans, topped tailed and cut in half
cucumber, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
Lettuce, in small chunks

1 shallot (I didn't have any, so left this out)
1 clove garlic
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp White Balsamic or White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
120g EVOO
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or about 2 1/2 Tbsp of Basil Paste
4 anchovies
20g agave syrup or 2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Place everything in the Thermomix and blitz on speed 9 for about 15 seconds. Scrape down and blitz again until homogenized.
Pour into a jar.
You can rinse Thermomix if desired, but it's not necessary.
Fill Thermomix bowl with cold water to the litre mark. Add about a teaspoon of salt.
Place potatoes and eggs in to the steamer basket and cook on Varoma for around 12 - 15 minutes. I did extra potato and cooked for 15 minutes.

Remove from basket and cool to room temperature only. Do not refrigerate until cold as this salad is best served at room temperature. Peel and cut eggs into 4.
Place beans into basket and cook on Varoma for 2 minutes. Remove and place into cold water to refresh.

Place lettuce, tomato and cucumber into large, shallow bowl. Add potatoes, eggs and beans. Place drained tuna on top of beans and drizzle with dressing.

Edited to add:

This dressing is delicious! The basil gives a really wonderful peppery aromatic flavour. I had it again today with a regular salad topped with the rest of the tuna and tossed with the Basil Dressing.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bacon & Pumpkin Mini Quiches

I made these little morsels after another recipe I tried failed. They're delicious and very easy.
The quantities have been estimated as I didn't measure anything!

Mini Bacon & Pumpkin Quiches

100g matured cheese, chunked
25g Parmesan cheese, sliced

400 – 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and chunked
2 -3 rashers bacon, finely diced or chunked
20g oil

Dried onion flakes
4 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup cream
salt & pepper
puff pastry sheets

Place cheeses into Thermomix and grate on speed 8 for a few seconds.
Remove and set aside.
If chopping bacon in Thermomix, then add to bowl and chop.
Place pumpkin into bowl and grate on speed 4 – 5 for a few seconds until chopped evenly.
Add oil and cook for about 5 minutes on 100, speed 1. It should still be in pieces, not mushy.
Remove from bowl and cool in fridge.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 ºC, defrost pastry sheets and grease shallow patty pan tin.
Whisk eggs in jug and whisk in cream and milk, salt and pepper.

Place pastry rounds into tin, add sprinkling of dried onion flakes, ½ tsp of grated cheese, 1 tsp pumpkin mixture. Pour enough egg mixture to just come to top of pastry rounds.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed.