Salade Niçoise

This is my death row meal. With some crusty bread and a glass of expensive white wine (which I normally avoid as it sadly gives me migraine, but that would be sort of irrelevant under the circumstances).

While I have made this frequently for my husband this was the first time I attempted it for the whole family and I’m happy to say it went down a treat. Even our fussiest young eater was happy to try everything including the anchovies. Although not a convert at least he tasted them!

Admittedly Salade Niçoise is a bit fiddly but it is so worth it. Aesthetically pleasing (even when thrown together haphazardly like the one pictured above – although I shouldn’t apologise for my poor food photography – these are real dinners!) and of course totally scrumptious. There’s no great secret to the recipe, and besides I’m feeling lazy so here’s the Wikipedia version.

“Salade Niçoise is a composed salad of tomatoes, tuna, hard‑boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette. It is served variously on a plate, platter, or in a bowl, with or without a bed of lettuce”. To my mind green beans are an essential part of Salade Niçoise but to each his own.

I’m sure you will add your own twist but I do have a few tips I hope you’ll find useful.  Firstly, save washing up by adding the green beans and eggs to the same pot as the baby potatoes 10 minutes from the cooking time. I don’t bother with vinaigrette as the olives and anchovies add enough oil / umami and I tend to go for huge dollops of mayonnaise on the boiled eggs instead. Speaking of which, I recommend allowing a couple of extra eggs because invariably one egg per person just isn’t enough.

And finally, fresh tuna can be hideously expensive but don’t worry – the other components are so filling that you only really need a small portion. At a pinch you can use very good quality canned tuna or the sort that comes in a jar, or even fresh trout or mackerel. Plenty of black pepper on the fish and a little wasabi on the side if you are a wasabi addict like me.

Bon appetit.

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