So! The hubs and I are married 8 years!! And for about 8 years, not even kidding, I’ve had this fantasy about surprising him with a summertime picnic. This year, I finally pulled it off! I had the idea of doing sort of a Nicoise salad, fun and French, but with some elements that my hubby would be sure to enjoy. So, a traditional Nicoise salad has green beans, (haricots verts) potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, olives, radishes, and tuna. My spin included sautéed shrimp, (in place of the tuna) tri-colored potatoes (new for us both to try!!), tomatoes, radishes, and capers. The dressing was absolutely delish! It was an anchovy/lemon/olive oil dressing, and it was so tangy and bright and salty, it turned out really well I thought. Hubs even liked it! I made sure he tried it before I told him there were anchovies in it, ha ha! Here is how it turned out!
Let me set the stage for you: This was at the county lake. It was a balmy 80 degrees. It was evening. We went in the pickup and put down the tailgate and laid out a blanket and it was just blissful! Here is the salad in all it’s glory!
Ok, I’m pathetically proud of this salad, I thought it turned out so pretty!
And of course what is any kind of celebration without a gorgeous cheese tray? Again, I am definitely one for any kind of fancy cheese spread, my hubby…not so much. So I really tried to set something up for him that he would like as much as me. I came up with doing His/Hers cheese platters!
So his included pickled okra (he likes Southern cuisine) sliced peaches, a smoked chili cheddar, a Dutch black peppercorn Gouda (he LOVES pepper), summer sausage, and fig spread.
For myself I chose a beautiful boucheron (goats milk cheese, rich, silky HEAVEN!!) and this really fun mimolette (sharp flavor and salty), which I’d never tried before. I loved the color!
Here are our platters side by side…again, ridiculously proud, can you tell? Ha ha!
It was a perfect evening! Here is the super complicated recipe for the lemon/anchovy dressing for ya!
- The juice of 1 large lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs anchovy paste
- 1 tsp grated fresh pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
Whisk all the elements until smooth! Drizzle on beautiful greens, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, etc. If you’re afraid of anchovies, don’t be! They’re salty, briny deliciousness.
The shrimp I just sautéed in a little butter, lemon juice, and garlic salt, and pepper. This didn’t stop my husband from the sacrilege of dunking them in cocktail sauce, however. Some things never change!