(Serves 12 as a canape)
This salad nicoise is perfect on a plate to share, or individually served. It comes into its own as a canape, or entrée. The tapenade takes the place of the olives and capers and provides a bit of a kick. The Pangrattato gives the crunch and replaces boiled potatoes (crunchy squashed potatoes work as well on a plate serving). The dressing adds the acidity to the richness of the trout, and brings the ‘all important’ egg element.
For the Tapenade
200g whole black olives, preferably Niçoise or Kalamata
3 tbsp capers, well rinsed if packed in salt
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Remove the stones from the olives with a pitter or a sharp knife.
- Put in a food processor with the capers, anchovies, garlic and thyme, and whizz to a rough puree.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice, and with the motor still running, add the oil. This will make a good deal of tapenade.
- Store the remainder in the fridge and serve with cheese and poached eggs (don’t knock it until you try it).
For the Pangrattato
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Oil from can of anchovies (to taste)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, made from stale bread or Panko crumbs for an easy option.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a frying pan, warm olive oil to medium-hot, but not smoking.
- Add breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and a sprinkle of sea salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden. Remove from the heat, then stir through lemon zest.
- Season with pepper and a little more sea salt to taste, then remove from pan and place in a bowl. Allow to cool.
For the Salad
4 baby cos, leaves separated washed and dried
400g smoked ocean trout (we use Brilliant Food smoked trout)
300g blanched beans, sliced and refreshed
1 punnet of the nicest baby tomatoes you can find, carefully sliced
2 tbsp store bought mayonnaise
Good quality red wine vinegar
- For the dressing, place 3 tbsp of mayonnaise into a mixing bowl.
- Add 1.5 tablespoons of vinegar, a tiny glob of olive oil, a pinch of salt and generous grind of pepper. Adjust with lemon juice.
- Take the separated salad leave and place on a board.
- Transfer a couple of teaspoons of tapenade to the lettuce – I like it in blobs.
- Place the sliced beans and tomatoes on top.
- Flake the trout on top of the vegetables, followed by the breadcrumb mixture and a drizzle of dressing.