During the summer I like to make something on Sunday that I can bring to work with me for lunch during the week. This has become a summer staple as it incorporates all of my favourite flavours, olives, feta, fresh garden tomatoes and good tuna.
This is a sort of Niciose salad with a few modifications. You can mess with this to your hearts content adding and deleting things, but there is one thing you should not skip, the anchovies in the dressing. This is key to how this salad tastes and trust me when I say it will NOT taste fishy if that is a flavour you are not so fond of.
1 cup orzo
1/2 pound green beans, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces or hericot vert if you can find them
1 TBS red-wine vinegar
1 TBS Sherry Vinegar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
4 anchovies, chopped
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
6- to 7-ounce can tuna, drained (I use Ortiz in a jar, this is amazing tuna almost like a filet in a jar)
12 cherry tomatoes cut in half or left whole
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives. cut in half
Chunk of Sheep's milk feta cheese (Sheep's milk feta like 'Valbresso' is soft and not as salty as regular cow's milk and other brined feta's)
In a saucepan of salted boiling water cook beans until crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain beans plunge in cold water to stop them cooking further. I usually scoop them out of the water so I can reuse it for the orzo.
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook orzo until tender and drain in a colander. Rinse orzo well under cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well. Put in a large bowl, add green beans.
Now make the dressing. I have a small hand processor or you could use a blender.
In the processor or a blender add the vinegars, lemon juice, anchovies, mustard, and garlic paste. The photo above is how you want your garlic to look before you add it. With motor running add oil in a stream and blend until emulsified.
Now on top of the orzo add the artichoke hearts, olives, thyme, green beans, onion, cherry tomatoes, tuna and feta. Drizzle all of the dressing over and mix.
I keep it in a big tupperwear in the fridge. It tastes better if you let it come to room temperature before serving.