Salade Nicoise-ish

by Daisy

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I’m riding high on orange juice and Claxton Fruitcake and I need to come down to earth before I start in on the Christmas cookies.

Julia Child to the rescue. I’m making a version of her Tuna Nicoise Salad for lunch/dinner: nutritious, sane, HEARTY and my favorite salad.

I love that Julia insisted on canned tuna for this, not the outrageous, special-occasion-only fresh tuna steak version. My version leaves out the pricey Nicoise olives (I substitute canned ripe olives) and the anchovies which are impossible to get anyone around here to eat. Any lettuce will do, of course (I used winter greens in the photo above). Garlic sits in for the shallots until I remember to plant some myself. Capers? Also pricey, so those are generally left out, too. It’s still a terrific salad. I’m quoting the original recipe here so you can see what the amazing Julia did with hers and you can go from there like I did. Put your own twist on it.

Julia Child’s Nicoise Salad
from Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.

Yield: Serves 6



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