Improvisational Nicoise Salad


4 tbsp. olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 shallot, peeled and minced

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Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, or more

1 pound fresh green beans, wax beans, haricots vert, or a combination

3 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 tbsp. capers, rinsed and patted dry

½ tsp. coarse kosher salt, plus more to 


1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

4 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and 


1-2 cans tuna fish, drained (optional)

Tomatoes, sliced or coarsely chopped 

   or cherry tomatoes (optional)

Minced scallions or red onion (optional)

¼ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese 


2 tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, shallot, and red pepper flakes; sauté for 3 minutes. 

Add green beans to pan and toss to coat with oil and vegetables. Let sauté for 2 minutes, turn, and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in mustard, capers, salt, and pepper. Turn salad out onto a large platter.

Decoratively arrange egg quarters on salad, and top with any or all of the optional ingredients. Grind some fresh black pepper over everything and serve.

Makes 4 main-course servings.