Turning Asian into French: a Leftover Story

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Well, hello— it has been awhile. I’ve been in a bit of a cooking rut the past few months, as exhaustion from nonstop work travel caught up to me. Frankly, I also felt uninspired and the kitchen— a place that usually is my escape— felt like a cage. I retreated to reading (more to come on book reviews!), while cooking and writing took a back seat. Oh, and we became very familiar with Caviar.

However, the past month I’ve taken a step back to evaluate life and the lack of routine I allowed to creep in due to my travel schedule. I realized I felt pressure in areas of my life, including cooking (pressure I inflicted on myself) and it was the one area I could control, so I cut it.

My friend’s dad said when you’re cooking regularly, it’s a sign you’re happy in your life. Now, this isn’t true for everyone, but I find cooking cadence to be a good sign of where I am mentally. I have made it a goal to get back into the kitchen, but to take it easy on myself— every night doesn’t need to be a production.

I’m usually not a huge fan of leftovers, but they are a great opportunity to speed the next night’s meal up. Plus, I’m taking this as a new challenge to repackage our leftovers into something I’m actually excited to eat.

The other week I made one of our favorite summertime meals— seared ahi tuna with chimichurri— and we had a whole steak of tuna leftover. We also randomly had the majority of the other ingredients to make a Niçoise salad that we needed to use up. Talk about the leftover universe aligning!

I’ve included the recipe for the Niçoise salad below. I don’t know about you, but I can always use a little reminder to be kind to myself, so here’s yours. Hope this recipe helps you gain extra time back in your day to relax!

Enjoy!

Niçoise Salad
Serves: 2
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes (if Tuna isn’t already cooked)

Tools:
Sharp knife
Mason jar
Skillet or grill pan

Ingredients:
For the dressing (serves 6, you’ll have extra for the week):
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the salad:
One cooked tuna filet cut into strips (If you need to make the tuna, follow the directions here)
3-4 cups of chopped romaine lettuce or lettuce of choice
3-4 small red potatoes cut into one inch chunks
One hard boiled egg cut in half
One Persian cucumber sliced thinly
¼ red onion sliced thinly
Roma tomato sliced into ½-1 inch chunks
2 radishes diced thinly
1 cup haricots verts (I used string beans because that’s what we had)

*I’d normally add olives, but didn’t have any on hand. If you’re an olive fan, definitely add a few pitted Kalamata olives or capers

1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a mason jar
2. Seal lid; shake well for 30 seconds or until blended
3. Bring water to boil, add beans; Cook for about 2 minutes or until al dente; Remove beans with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water; Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until al dente, drain
4. Divide lettuce into two bowls and arrange rest of ingredients; Drizzle with the dressing
5. Viola, enjoy!

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