nosh1Pronounced nee swaz’, this is the perfect lunch to serve at a lunch party. Sure, why not have a group of friends over for lunch.

When we first arrived in Boquete, good friends Hershel and Mikey invited us to their lovely home for a “Luncheon”. I don’t think we had ever been invited to such an affair and it was a very special event. We met many folks there who became “life-long” friends.

This is my favorite “almuerzo” to serve when friends from all over the world gather at our home. It looks gorgeous, it’s easy to prepare, everything gets prepared ahead of time and your guests become “designers” of their own lunch.

Because we enjoyed the afternoon so much with Hershel and Mikey, we’ve served this “Luncheon” many times. Everyone loves an afternoon party!

This is your chance to use all the lovely serving dishes you have been collecting. You’ll need a large salad bowl in which to serve the mixed lettuces, but the other dishes can be medium size or small.   This mango wood bowl I found in Costa Rica, it’s beautifully made and it smells like smoke.  It hasn’t lost its fragrance after using it many, many times. I provide small tongs to serve the greens. nosh3

Every serving piece should be a different size, pattern and color. It’s fun to go through your cabinets and select silver, wood, ceramic, china, plastic dishes, or even a piece of tile on which to display your remaining ingredients for the Nicoise Luncheon.

These are the ingredients I prepare for noshing, but use your creativity.

Blanched whole green beans
Tomatoes, cut into small wedges
Spring onions, sliced
Canned tuna served in shot glasses, 2 oz. is the perfect serving size
Hard boiled eggs peeled, but not cut - provide an egg slicer and small knife
Unpeeled cucumbers cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the inside with a spoon and slice
Dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, herbs (your special blend), a little mustard and salt.
Chilled boiled potatoes, cut into julienne strips
Anchovy fillets, whole
Black olives, pitted
Cheeses, cubed or in julienne strips
Blue cheese, crumbled
Carrots, grated
Pine nuts
nosh4
The fun of the Nicoise Luncheon is that each guest becomes the “artist” of their own salad, designing it exactly the way they like. They begin with a dinner-size plate and lay out the greens.

Then, your guests continue along the buffet filled with brightly colored dishes, and layer each ingredient until it looks just exactly right. One guest made a funny face out of his salad, the skies the limit!

Each dish becomes a masterpiece.
The results are beautiful enough for a photo.