18/05/2013

Salad Niçoisesque

Salad Niçoise
Salad Niçoise is a simple salad of tuna, anchovies, tomato, green beans, potato, boiled egg and olives served with or without leaves.

I had some fresh tuna ... it seemed daft not to ...

As with much French cuisine, this dish has been elevated to such gastronomic height that many consider it out of their reach for preparation in their own kitchen.

Relax ... it's just a salad.

To the ingredients. We have our mandatory list but we can also deviate. I went with tuna, squid, boiled egg, tomato, potato, green beans, capers, black olives, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.

Green beans? They're fine ... Mark Sissons gives us his usual cool and balanced opinion on the matter.

Okay ... to work ...

Boil your eggs. I simply pour just boiled water over room temperature eggs and let it gently boil for about 10 minutes.

Boil a few salad potatoes. 15 minutes should be fine and in the last five minutes drop in some green beans. Once cooked, drain, retrieve the beans and drop in a good knob of butter and swirl the potatoes around in the butter. Set aside.

Prepare the squid by removing the outer skin, pulling the insides out and separating the tentacles from the head, turn inside out and give 'em a thorough clean under running cold water. Cut into slices and fry off in a pan with just a touch of fat. Set aside.

On a griddle pan, sear the tuna. If you don't have fresh, canned is fine.

In a wide brimmed bowl, drop in a handful of mixed salad leaves, some quartered tomato, black olives, capers, the potatoes (and the butter), quartered eggs, green beans and then the tuna broken up and squids scattered over.

You don't need a fancy dressing, but if you want ... just make up an emulsion of olive oil and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easier just to slosh some olive oil over, squeeze over some lemon and season to taste.

That's it ... nothing complex, just a simple salad.

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