Pasta Salad Nicoise

The ingredients of Salade Nicoise—green beans, white beans, ripe tomatoes, and cured olives— join forces with pasta to make a delectable cold dish. Baked marinated tofu stands in for tuna, another standard Nicoise ingredient.

Serves: 6 to 8

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

 

  • 8 to 10 ounces pasta, any short shape
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and
    cut into 1-inch lengths,
  • or thawed frozen cut green beans
  • 1 cup canned cannellini (large white beans),
    drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 4 ounces baked marinated tofu, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata or other brine-cured olives,
    pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and stir together until well blended. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse until cool, then drain well again.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is golden.

Steam the green beans in a medium saucepan with a small amount of water until tender-crisp. Drain and rinse under cool water.

Combine the cooked pasta, onion-garlic mixture, green beans, and dressing in a large serving bowl along with the remaining salad ingredients, and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

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