Quick Recipes and Easy

Classic Dishes of Provence: Salade Nicoise

Die-hard Niçois traditionalists insist that a real Salade Niçoise should contain only raw vegetables. No potatoes. No cooked green beans. In fact, no cooked vegetables of any description whatsoever!

So here it is….an authentic version of the ancient stand-by for your consideration and (hopefully) delight.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

10 large, ripe tomatoes;
1 garlic clove;
1 large cucumber;
1 green pepper;
1 red pepper;
6 spring onions;
12 anchovy fillets in olive oil;

125g black olives;
4 hard-boiled eggs;
90 ml olive oil;
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar;
the juice of 1 lemon;
assorted salad leaves;
a small handful of fresh basil.

Method:

Cut each tomato into 6 pieces. Place them into a dish and sprinkle them with a small salt and leave them for half an hour or so to let their juices drain.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the seeds with a spoon. Then cut the (unpeeled) cucumber halves into slices (but not too thin).

Finely slice the peppers and the spring onions.

Peel the garlic clove and cut it in half. Rub the cut halves around the inside of a large (preferably wooden) salad bowl.

When you are ready to serve the salad, lay the salad leaves over the base of the bowl. Drain the tomatoes and arrange them on top of the leaves, as decoratively as you can, with the quartered hardboiled eggs, the cucumber, the peppers, the spring onions and the drained anchovy fillets.

Scatter over the black olives.

Make a dressing with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Sprinkle it liberally over the salad and scatter with roughly-torn fresh basil leaves just before taking to the table.

Variation:

4 small tuna steaks

Some people like tuna with their Salade Niçoise. It seems a pity to spoil these lovely fresh ingredients with tinned tuna. So why not convert the dish into a light and tasty lunch or supper by lightly pan-frying four small fresh seasoned tuna steaks in olive oil and serving them atop the salad on a large oval serving dish?

Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil at the last moment.

You can find out more about the food, wine, restaurants and recipes of Provence at the author’s web site: cafe-de-provence.com cafe-de-provence.com



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