Family Style Eating: Hanger Steak Nicoise and Tomatoes and Mozzarella

"Hanger Steak Nicoise" salad with hard boiled eggs, steam baby potatoes, string beans, and hanger steak

Family Style Eating: Hanger Steak Nicoise and Tomatoes and Mozzarella 

I was giving some thought to formal dining at home the other day and specifically whether American families still sit down for formal, multi-course, meals?  During my childhood, our family often started  meals with a pasta or soup course followed by a family style meal including 3-4 dishes consisting of a protein, starch, vegetable, and a simple salad.  Currently, our young family employs the same dining ritual with the aforementioned first course/family style hybrid model (though we usually just cook a single green, so it’s salad or a vegetable dish).

Recently, we had a young family over for an early dinner and we decided to put together a true family style dinner consisting of one large platter with a few sources of protein, vegetables, and a platter.  The dish was a variation of a Tuna Nicoise  salad but instead of the tuna in olive oil we served grilled hanger steak (derived from the diaphragm of a steer and similar to flank steak)  marinated in lemon juice, garlic, and rosemary (as well as hard boiled eggs, string beans, and baby potatoes).  The salad was dressed with a basic vinaigrette with the edition of finely chopped garlic.  We also “cheated” and put together a plate of sliced, garden ripe, tomatoes and fresh, whole milk, mozzarella; I haven’t yet met an Italian cook who thinks he or she has prepared enough food.

We couldn't help but add another dish to our "one dish family style" meal - tomatoes and mozzarella

Note that the French would argue fiercely that any Tuna Nicoise salad would not include potatoes and, moreover, any cooked vegetables.  A classic Tuna Nicoise usually includes canned tuna in olive oil, raw red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts, boiled eggs, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, a few anchovies, and a basic vinaigrette.

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