Pasta Nicoise Salad is a nod to the French, loaded with chicken and vegetables, and bound with a simple homemade dressing flavored with rosemary. This salad is fresh, bright with flavor, and colorful on the plate. Add some crusty bread, and you have a filling, satisfying meal.
This is a great use for leftover baked chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local market deli. Canned chicken may be substituted for freshly cooked chicken. For variation, try substituting tuna for the chicken.
The vegetables are also variable. Asparagus makes a great substitute for the green beans, and matchstick-cut carrots add even more color to this beautiful salad.
Pasta Nicoise Salad Recipe
1 pound pasta (penne, colored corkscrews or bows)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 pound green beans, halved lengthwise
1-1/2 cups diced cooked (or barbequed) chicken
3 plum tomatoes, cut into sixths
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into eighths
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tablespoon capers, drained
Anchovy fillets and black olives, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain well and rinse with cold water. Shake off excess moisture.
Combine lemon juice, oil, red onion, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour half of dressing over pasta and toss well.
Cook green beans until just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Toss beans with half of remaining dressing.
Arrange pasta in serving bowl. Surround with beans, chicken, tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle remaining dressing over salad. Top with parsley, capers, anchovies, and black olives.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe Source: Courtesy of Pyrex®
Reprinted with express written permission.
Pasta Nicoise Salad Recipe Photo ©2010 Pyrex®