Here’s a delicious and colorful salad that makes a whole meal… and it’s perfect to make with your fresh vegetables on a warm summer day.
There are a number variations of the Niçoise Salad, common in its namesake city, Nice, France, and along the rest of the Côte d’Azur, where I first enjoyed it.
Apparently it became popular in the states because of Julia Child.
Last night, in anticipation of this salad, my companion and I biked around our city to procure vegetables from the yard and from a little farmers’ market (4-7pm!). After a nice summer evening’s ride with a short stop for live music and visiting friends, we prepared our ginormous Niçoise salad from these ingredients (for 4 meal-sized servings):
- romaine and other leaf lettuce, torn to bite sized
- Nasturtium leaves, chopped
- fresh basil leaves, chopped
- fresh parsley, chopped
- scallion greens, from 2 scallions, finely cut
- green beans, 1 pound, blanched (we substituted some nice Dragon Tongue Beans that surprising lost their purple stripes when cooked)
- ripe roma tomatoes, 3, quartered and coarsely chopped
- eggs, 4, hard-boiled, and quartered
- fingerling potatoes (~1/2 pound), boiled (e.g., with the eggs)
- green olives, pitted
- tuna, 1 can, partially drained of oil
- anchovy, about 2/3 of one very small jar
- balsamic vinegar, 1 T.
- apple cider vinegar, ~1/8 cup
- Dijon-style mustard, 1-2 T. (e.g., Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
- honey, ~1 t., to taste
- olive oil, 1-2 T.
- water (sparingly, to dilute slightly if desired)
- salt & pepper, to taste if desired
To serve, we tossed the cooked beans with dressing, and placed them atop the chopped lettuce on a large platter and arranged the other toppings, leaving the tuna and anchovies for last, and finally lightly drizzled the salad with the rest of the dressing and olive oil.
I enjoyed this both for dinner and my subsequent day’s lunch. :)
Give it a try and experinece this tasty sample of southern France, especially if you can find some beautilful vegetables in your garden or at your farmers’ market!
Update (June, 2013):
I made this again… this time with the traditional green (string) beans and used a combination of pimento-stuffed spanish olives and jalapeno-stuffed olives. Also, I used a spicier Dijon mustard (Trader Joe’s)… mmm, still awesome.