This is supper today and I did not prepare it. My dear husband is the chef of the house, and has been for years. I was terrified that when I retired and no longer had the excuse of early and late meetings, coaching and homework that he would take off his chef's apron and say "Here you go, honey." Luckily for me, he retired the same day. While it took a while (maybe two days) to stake out our turf in the house and get used to seeing each other at all hours, we've adjusted quite well.
When we dated in college we cooked elaborate meals for one another, some of which featured stuffed cornish game hens, frozen Bird's Eye peas and pearl onions, and bottles of Mateus Rose. It was romantic and cheaper than eating out in a nice restaurant. When we were first married I did more of the cooking, but my habit of making tuna macaroni salad once a week probably pushed him into the kitchen. Truthfully, he started cooking more because for years he got home earlier than I did, and if he were to wait until I got going he would be really, really hungry. I actually can cook; I just don't enjoy it. Besides, he is a better and more creative cook than I ever was. I'm a lucky woman.
serves 4 (or two people who eat lots)
1 1/2 lbs. cooked salmon (he likes smoked salmon, and uses less)
1 head romaine or leaf lettuce to line the platter
1 lb. cooked asparagus or green beans
1 lb. new potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 jar (6 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and cut up (save the juice for the dressing)
1 can pitted ripe olives
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
Parmesan cheese to taste
parsley to garnish
Put all the ingredients on a platter and chill. Serve with Nicoise Dressing (below)
3 tablespoons olive oil (add the juice from the artichokes if you want)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried basil (fresh is better if you have it)
6 anchovies, rinsed and mashed (optional but good)
1 tablespoon drained capers
Combine everything and drizzle over the platter of salmon and vegetables.