Healthy End of Summer Salad! [Recipe]

I’m excited to bring another post in a continuing series by my good friend and fellow Underwear Yogi, Nick Kindrick. Enjoy!

Hello friends in fitness. I sometimes help out at the Union Square Greenmarket here in New York City, as I did this past week. Being obsessed with food, it’s truly one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Right now is really my favorite time at the market. The pumpkins, apples and cauliflower begin to appear and gently remind us that fall has in fact, arrived, yet the tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers of summer are still fighting their way to the market. Who knows when the first frost will arrive? We just sense it will be soon.

In honor of summer’s last stand, I present you with a beautiful, nutritious and delicious salad. I know what you’re thinking… salad is salad. But, salad can be a great, light and satisfying meal. I LOVE “entree salads,” which are essentially salads substantial enough to be a one-plate-meal. With the addition of some wholewheat bread and some leftover pesto, this was an awesome ode to summer, on a plate. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. If you don’t have something, it’s okay. I did this in less than 30 minutes. Hint: a large bowl (of any sort – even a pasta pot would do in a pinch) is essential to mix this salad.

Serves 2.

For the salad:

  • 3/4 lb fresh tuna or 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1 large tomato, cut into  wedges
  • 1/2 lb green and/or yellow string beans, trimmed of stems
  • 1/2 lb of potatoes of any variety, washed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red or yellow (or even green or purple!!) bell pepper, stems, seeds and veins removed, sliced thinly into strips
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (cook in a gentle boil of water for 7-8 minutes, let cool and then peel), cut in half
  • any mixture of hearty lettuces, washed and dried, to serve as a bed for all of these ingredients (I used red leaf and mature arugula)

For the vinaigrette:

  • the juice of 1 freshly, squeezed lemon
  • 1 T of Dijon mustard
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small purple onion, sliced paper thin
  • a couple of leaves of fresh parsley and basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste (kosher salt is preferred)

Make the vinaigrette first. This will allow all of the flavors to mingle longer, which will produce a more tasty dressing.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and the mustard. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, and herbs. Whisk a little more and set aside.

To compose the salad, place the greens at the bottom of your bowl. Fill a medium pot with water. Bring to a boil. Add some salt and when it begins to boil again, use a spoon to taste it (after it cools a moment, unless your a Masochist). If it tastes like the sea, then it’s sufficiently salty. If not, add some more. Add the potatoes and boil until tender (can you easily pierce the potatoes with a knife?). Approximately 10-12 minutes. Remove the potatoes, most easily with a slotted spoon. Place in a separate bowl, and while hot, pour some of the vinaigrette over the warm potatoes. When the water returns to a boil, add the beans. Boil for another 4-5 minutes, till the beans are tender (I prefer the beans al dente, with a little crunch). Remove the beans from the bowl and let cool, a minute or so, and add to the greens in the salad bowl. Add the slices of cucumber and bell pepper to the greens. Add the tomatoes to the bowl as well.

To cook the tuna, add 1 T extra virgin olive oil in a pan and turn to high. Sprinkle the tuna steak with salt. Just before the pan begins to smoke (but is NOT), when the oil is very, very hot, turn down the heat to medium, add the tuna steak and sear on 1 side for 1 minute, then the other side for a second minute. This will give you tuna that is rare to medium rare, depending on the size of your steak. If you like it more done than less, cook slightly longer.  If you prefer tuna that is cooked through well, use canned tuna. Remove the tuna from the pan, and pour the hot oil and juices over your salad. Slice the tuna.

Add a pinch of salt to the salad and then the remaining vinaigrette. Mix well with your hands. Yes, I wrote hands. Just wash your hands before you do this step. This is the best way to properly dress a salad. Be certain to dress each square inch of every vegetable is dressed and it will be delicious. Then add the potatoes and give one more gentle toss, just be careful with the potatoes. Taste the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste, if you like. Serve the salad on plates, and place the halves of hard boiled egg on the plates and the slices of tuna on top.

Enjoy.

Comments

  1. Sounds great Nick. Thanks! I’ll try it.

  2. Davey!! Nick!! Love this Recipes section. I’ll definitely try this salad since the soup and the chicken were amazing and pretty easy to cook. Can I ask for dessert? =P Have a great week you guys!