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Vegan Nicose Salad

I have vegetarianized and veganized cuisines from all over the world: Italy, India, China, Thailand, Korea, Spain, Japan, Germany, Mexico. However, the one cuisine that always bursts my bubble is French. The problem with veganizing French food, in my humble opinion, is that it is too reliant on meat and fish for the entirety of a dish. Oftentimes, a plate consists of a piece of meat, with some kind of meat-centric or buttery sauce, adjacent to a small pile of carrots, or other veggie, again cooked in butter. 

But, before you go saying, “Wait, Maggie- but there are French vegetarian dishes!”, let me give a shout out to ratatouille and salade de carottes rapees. (If you know of any other French vegetarian / vegan dishes, I would love to try them out!) In addition, there are a few recipes I have been itching to vegetarianize, or veganize in this case, such as Salad Nicoise and cassoulet (must order those beautiful cassoulet beans!). 

Nicoise salads, originating in Nice, are traditionally composed of tuna, hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, Nicoise olives, and anchovies, all dressed in a vinaigrette. Here, I replace the tuna and anchovies with cannelinni beans, and use giant green olives stuffed with garlic (mo garlic, mo betta). I also left out the potatoes in preference for a bed of crunchy romaine, artichokes, and some sliced cukes.

Funny story. So for this recipe, I saw these purple beans at the farmer’s market, and I got so. excited. I bought them, thinking how awesome they would be in this jazzy new take on a Nicoise salad.

And then, when I boiled them in water for a few minutes, they turned green. Womp. Maybe they taste different, I thought. Crunch. Nope, tastes just like a green bean. Another womp. But they were fun while they lasted! Next time I’ll make a salad with some raw purple beans.

I made a vinaigrette out of olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dollop of dijon and these herbes de provence that my mom picked me up in…you guessed it- Provence! Look at that massive bag. It reminds me to better start thinking of some more herbes de provence recipes stat!

Per my usual style, I made 3 of these ginormous salads at once to take for lunches during the work week. 

Vegan Nicoise Salad
Serves 3

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups green beans, trimmed halved
  • 2 romaine hearts, chopped
  • 3/4 of an English cucumber, chopped
  • 3/4 can artichoke hearts in water
  • 1-2 tomatoes (or a bell pepper)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • red onion, minced
  • 15 olives, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 tbsp red wine vinegar, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp herbes de provence
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add the green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until they are bright green. Drain.
  2. Arrange the next 7 ingredients into three bowls.
  3. Mix the oil, vinegar, herbes, and mustard to make the vinaigrette.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads, and add salt and pepper to taste.

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