Cooking for one

A few of us were talking at the pool about cooking when you are eating alone.  Some don’t like to, others do.  I view cooking for just myself as an opportunity to eat exactly what I want.  I do bother to set the table and sit down to dinner, maybe with a book or magazine.  Keith and Samantha had a swim meet last Thursday and were going to be late so elected to have the swim meet buffet.  I didn’t want to make something that would make Keith sorry he missed it and was late getting home so I wanted something fairly simple.  I decided on a short cut Tuna Nicoise salad.  I love it but Keith’s not a huge fan.  When I make it for more than just myself, I usually cook green beans, use cooked potatoes, etc.  The shortcuts were that I skipped the green beans, used leftover dressing from the salad the week before and bought the potatoes from prepared foods.  All I did was hardboil an egg and quick sear the tuna.

Here is the full recipe without the shortcuts:

Tuna Salad Nicoise

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 3 – 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salad greens (I used a mix of mache and green leaf)
  • fresh tuna steak (4 – 6 oz per person)
  • hard boiled eggs (1 per person)
  • roasted potatoes (I used red potatoes that I sliced and tossed with olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper and roasted last night in the toaster oven)
  • blanched green beans
  • black olives (optional)
  • anchovies (optional)
In a small jar, combine shallot, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.  Shake to combine.  Wash and dry salad greens.   Brush tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sear in a non-stick pan until desired doneness (I like mine rare so will only quick sear on each side.)  Toss salad greens with dressing and plate.  Top lettuce with tuna, sliced egg, potatoes, green beans (and olives or anchovies if you like or whatever else you happen to  have on hand).  Enjoy.
Here is my shortcut picture:IMG_3353

 

Nicoise salad

I was inspired to have the tuna nicoise salad tonight because of having the leftover potatoes.  The other ingredients (hard boiled eggs, haricots vert, seared tuna) are all so quick to pull together.  I would not bother fixing the potatoes just to have the salad.  The purple potatoes are so pretty and I had the dressing leftover from last night.  All went together nicely.  I hardboiled the eggs yesterday afternoon, blanched the haricots vert before work this morning (2 minutes in boiling water) so when I got home from work, I just needed to brush the tuna with olive oil, salt and pepper and sear it 3 minutes a side on the grill pan.  I like a couple of anchovies and some olives on mine but my husband skips those.  Here is a picture:

Salad Nicoise – eating healthy day 3!

The leftover potatoes from New Year’s Eve inspired me to put this on the menu plan for the week.  It’s one of my favorites and easy to put together.  You can blanch the beans and hardboil the eggs (and cook potatoes) ahead of time so all you need to do is rinse the greens, shake up the dressing and quickly sear the tuna.  We like our tuna rare.  Here is the recipe (I use cherry tomatoes when I make it in the summer but don’t bother with them this time of year when they aren’t as good.)

Tuna Salad Nicoise

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 3 – 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salad greens
  • fresh tuna steak (4 – 6 oz per person)
  • hard boiled eggs
  • roasted potatoes
  • blanched green beans
  • black olives (optional)
  • anchovies (optional)
In a small jar, combine shallot, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.  Shake to combine.  Wash and dry salad greens (I used green leaf)  Brush tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sear in a non-stick pan until desired doneness (I like mine rare so will only quick sear on each side.)  Toss salad greens with dressing and plate.  Top lettuce with tuna, sliced egg, potatoes, green beans (and olives or anchovies if you like or whatever else you happen to  have on hand).  Enjoy.

Tuna Salad Nicoise

If you are a follower of blog, you know that I love fresh tuna.  This is one of my favorite variations and is made easy by the fact that I have leftover potatoes and I hardboiled the eggs earlier in the week and blanched the green beans last night.  Assembly tonight will be quick – I’ll add a picture later.

Tuna Salad Nicoise

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 3 – 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB either Balsamic vinegar or Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salad greens
  • fresh tuna steak (4 – 6 oz per person)
  • hard boiled eggs
  • roasted potatoes
  • blanched green beans
  • black olives (optional)
  • anchovies (optional)
In a small jar, combine shallot, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.  Shake to combine.  Wash and dry salad greens (tonight I’m using green leaf lettuce but you can use any type you like.)  Brush tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sear in a non-stick pan until desired doneness (I like mine rare so will only quick sear on each side.)  Toss salad greens with dressing and plate.  Top lettuce with tuna, sliced egg, potatoes, green beans and olives and anchovies if desired.  Enjoy.

Tuna Salad Nicoise

This week has been extremely hectic and I realized that I never had a chance to add the recipe for the Tuna Salad Nicoise.  If you are a follower, you know that I love tuna and this is another one of my favorite incarnations.  You can hardboil the eggs, steam the green beans and cook potatoes ahead of time, or you can grab a few things off of the grocery store salad bar and put together a great salad with little effort.  Toppings are adaptable to your tastes – I love olives and anchovies but I left both off of my husband’s salad.

Tuna Salad Nicoise

Dressing

  • 4 TB Olive oil
  • 1 TB Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake until blended.  NOTE: This was enough dressing for two of us – increase quantities if you’re serving more people.

Tuna

  • 4 oz. fresh tuna steak per person
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Brush tuna with olive oil and rub with salt and pepper.  Grill about 3 minutes a side and remove.  Cook longer if you don’t like your tuna rare (of course, in my humble opinion you are ruining it!)

Salad

  • Greens
  • Green Beans (Haricots Verts) steamed until tender
  • Cooked potatoes
  • Sliced hard boiled eggs
  • Anchovies
  • Black olives

Top each plate with greens and dressing.  Stir to combine.  Slice tuna and place on top of greens.  Surround with green beans, eggs, potatoes, anchovies and olives.  (Capers are also an option.)  Enjoy.