Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Salade niçoise

As the weather warms up it’s time for a hearty dinner salad. Some friends of ours served us a lovely salade niçoise a few weeks ago and then last week I was at a bistro in Boston and one of my dining companions ordered a good-looking one. It seemed as if it was calling to me to make it since it has been a long time, and I knew I had some nice cooked French beans and some cooked Yukon gold potatoes leftover from a supper a couple of days ago. So the only thing I actually had to cook were the hard-boiled eggs. There are nearly endless variations of this. Here’s mine:
The Ingredients
A few leaves of washed lettuce or other greens (I used Romaine since I had some)
1 can of good quality oil-packed tuna, drained

Some cooked small potatoes such as Yukon Gold sliced.
About 8 good quality canned anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained
½ cup good black olives, such as (duh) niçoise, or kalamata
8 oz. cooked French beans (haricot verts) or green beans
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
Thinly sliced red onion (or scallions)
Coarsely chopped good fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes halved
Capers and fresh herbs (parley, basil or tarragon are nice) for garnish
Some sliced radishes for color (I didn't have any)
The Vinaigrette
4 TBS red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (French evoo is nice if you can find it and afford it)
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
½ TBS Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS finely chopped parley
Putting it together
Whisk the dressing ingredients and put it aside. Assemble the salad on a platter starting with the greens, the tuna, the potatoes, the beans, the egg slices, the onion, the tomatoes, the anchovies, the capers and herbs. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, a few turns of the pepper mill, and serve.
It’s a meal on a plate. Get yourself some good bread, some Provençal rosé and “Robert est votre oncle!”
(Photo: © R. L. Floyd, 2015)