Saturday, August 6, 2011

Salad Nicoise

     After referring to it in the previous post it seemed only fitting to post the recipe for a summer classic, Salad Nicoise. Almost every restaurant I have worked in has this on the menu at some point during the summer. It has the best of summer, new potatoes, fresh green beans and vine ripened tomatoes. How can you not love it?

     The original is a French creation from the city of Nice. Julia Child popularized it in North America and true to form, it is nothing like you would get in Nice (according to die hard purists). I have had several variations, the following recipe is the one I like that is the easiest to prepare. The one I like best substitutes fresh grilled tuna for the canned.

     This is supposed to be a composed salad, similar to a Cobb, like the picture below.

     I hate it like this. I like it tossed all together and that is how I prepare it. The choice is yours. I haven't given quantities, just the ingredient list. It is fairly easy to figure out how much you will need based on how many or few you will be feeding.

Salad Nicoise
Tuna, canned or fresh grilled
Tomatoes, quartered
Potatoes, boiled to tender crisp
Green beans, blanched
Eggs, hard boiled and quartered
Anchovy fillets *
Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot /scallion/onion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1” of anchovy paste*
1 teaspoon thyme or oregano – 1 tablespoon if using fresh
1 clove of garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
* Use either /or not both or omit altogether
Kitchen Wisdom from Julia Child on oil to vinegar ratios for salad dressing
I use the proportions of a very dry martini, since you can always add more vinegar or lemon but you can't take it out.

     The beauty of this salad is taste of the fresh produce. Make sure not to overcook the potatoes or beans. Composed or tossed, this hearty salad is sure too please. Enjoy.

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