Salade Nicoise


I wanted to serve a very light lunch on the evening that we had made arrangements to go out for all you can eat pickerel.  Since I had just been to the Farmer’s market, I had all the fixings available for this salad that I have intended to try for many years.  I chose Julia Child’s version and this is what she has to say about Salade Niçoise:

“Of all main-course salads, the Niçoise is my all-time favorite, with its fresh butter-lettuce foundation; its carefully cooked, beautifully green green beans; its colorful contrast of halved hard-boiled eggs, ripe red tomatoes, and black olives; all fortified by chunks of tunafish and freshly opened anchovies.  It’s a perfect luncheon dish, to my mind, winter, summer, spring, and fall — an inspired combination that pleases everyone.”

1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 to 2/3 cup basic vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 “boiling” potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked
Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets
1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.  Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper.  Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.  Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.  Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each.  Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.  Serves 6.

I had to substitute the Boston lettuce with with romaine, shallots with red onion, green beans with yellow and leave off the capers and it was still outstanding.  So good in fact, that D felt compelled to crack a bottle of Chardonnay to celebrate.

The 2007 VQA Chateau Des Chaimes from Niagara on the Lake was a crisp and certain complement.  The bottle had been a hospitality gift from Daughter #2’s boyfriend, which he had purchased on a recent trip to Ottawa.

Kath’s quote: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”- Julia Child

posted under Cookbooks, Recipes
One Comment to

“Salade Nicoise”

  1. Avatar August 23rd, 2010 at 9:09 am bellini valli Says:

    I have prepared Julia’s version as well. Nothing beats tuna in my books when making this dish.

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