Pic of vegetarian 'niçoise'

vegetarian 'niçoise'

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Vegetarian mains

vegetarian 'niçoise'

Main Serves 4 40 min
This is a vegetarian version of the Mediterranean summer classic. It uses capers in place of anchovies for saltiness – although you could use both. Marjoram is a similar herb to oregano, but slightly sweeter and with a floral aroma.

Cook's notes

Variations Use roasted tomatoes for extra sweetness (pictured.) Add a few anchovies if you're not vegetarian.

Ingredients

  • 600g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into halves or quarters depending on size
  • 8 eggs
  • 300g French beans, topped and tailed
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in half crossways
  • 2 large spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 150g mixed salad leaves
  • about 20 pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp capers (if they are in brine, drain then soak in cold water for 20 minutes then drain)
  • small handful of basil, shredded
  • For the dressing
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 or 4 fresh marjoram leaves or oregano sprigs, finely chopped
  • salt and black pepper

Method

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Put the potatoes in one pan with a good pinch of salt. Put the eggs in another pan. Cover both with water and put on a medium heat. Once the eggs come to the boil, cook for 8 minutes, drain and put in a bowl of cold water. Once the potatoes come to the boil, cook for 10–12 minutes, until easily pierced with a sharp knife. Scoop the potatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon.
  • Step 2

    Add the beans to the potato water. Boil for 5 minutes, until they're tender but still have a squeak when you bite into them. Drain and refresh in cold water, then drain again. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, garlic, mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice together in a large salad bowl. Stir in the chopped marjoram or oregano, then season with salt, pepper and extra lemon juice or oil to taste.
  • Step 3

    Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, spring onion, salad leaves, olives and capers to the bowl and toss together in the dressing.
  • Step 4

    Peel the hardboiled eggs – doing this in water is easiest – then cut them lengthways into quarters. Using a wet knife will help keep the yolk and white together. Tuck the eggs into the salad, scatter over the basil leaves and serve.