This recipe is an adaptation of a classic from the French Mediterranean city of Nice (hence Niçoise). It is typically served as a combination of tuna, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, olives and hard-boiled eggs. Some versions also include anchovies, cucumbers, onions, lettuce and broad beans. When served on a baguette, it is known as pan-bagnat which means ‘wet bread’ in the regional dialect of Occitan (a language spoken in Southern France that is a close relative of Catalan). By adding pasta, this salad is transformed into a light dinner.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound green beans, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and cooled
2 x 6- to 7-ounce can tuna, drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Over medium heat, sauté green beans and bell pepper in olive oil for 2 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix all of the pasta salad ingredients.
3. In a small jar, add all of the vinaigrette ingredients and shake well. Pour over pasta salad and mix well.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.