Recipe by Julia Child*
Salade Nicoise is the perfect summer meal. It's full of fresh and flavourful ingredients that despite the long list of ingredients, takes no time to pull together. My only change to this recipe was to use fresh tuna rather than canned. I know Julia would have forgiven me this slight adjustment. ;) I lightly seasoned and oil a tuna steak then seared it in a hot grill pan for 2 minutes a side. I wanted a rare center but if you want it more cooked, add an extra minute per side. Enjoy!
1 head of Boston Lettuce, large, washed and dried
2 to 3 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water, and dried
2/3 to 1 cup salad dressing, such as the Oil and Lemon Dressing (Recipe Below)
3 or 4 fine rip red tomatoes, peeled, if you wish, and cored, quartered and seasoned before serving
8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked or fresh tuna, seasoned and seared 2 minutes a side
1 quart of French Potato salad (Recipe below)
8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
1 can flat anchovy filets packed in oil, opened and drained just before serving
1/2 cup black Nicoise-type olives
3 or 4 Tablespoons capers
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1. Shortly before serving, line a handsome, large and wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with a sprinkling of salt.
2. Toss the beans in a mixing bowl with a little of the dressing, and correct seasoning.
3. Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes.
4. Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of dressing.
5. Place the potatoes in the center of the bowl or platter; mound beans at strategic intervals, interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna.
6. Ring the salad with the eggs and curl an anchovy filet on top of each.
7. Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley. Serve as soon as possible.
Oil and Lemon Dressing
Recipe by Julia Child
2 strips of fresh lemon peel, 1 by 2 1/2 inches each
1/4 Teaspoons salt, plus more, if needed
1/2 Tablespoon Dijon-type prepared mustard
1 to 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fine fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper
1. Mince the lemon peel very finely with the salt, scrape it into the mortar or bowl, and mash into a fine paste with the pestle or spoon.
2, Beat in the mustard and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice; when thoroughly blended start beating in the oil by droplets to make a homogeneous sauce—easier when done with a small electric mixer.
3. Beat in droplets more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
French Potato SaladRecipe by Julia Child
1 1/2 pounds "boiling" potatoes, all the same size and shape if possible
2 Tbs shallots or scallions, finely minced
White pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup chicken stock (or potato-cooking water)
1 1/2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 to 3 Tablespoons light olive oil, optional
1. Fill a three-quart saucepan half full with cold water.
2. Wash the potatoes. One at a time peel a potato, and if it's round and fat rather than long and thin, cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the potato into slices 1/4 inch thick, and drop the slices into the pan of water, to prevent discoloration while you prepare the rest. It is best to cook them within 1/2 hour to prevent the possibility of their turning grey.
3. Drain out the water, then add clean cold water to cover, and the salt. Bring to the simmer, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender -- keep testing by eating a slice to be sure.
4. Crunchily undercooked potatoes are dreadful, and overcooked potato slices will disintegrate.
5. Drain out the cooking water (you may wish to use it for soup). At once cover the pan and set aside for 3 to 4 minutes (but no longer than 5), to allow the slices to firm up. Then uncover the potatoes and plane to season them while still warm.
6. Turn the warm potatoes into a roomy bowl and toss gently with the shallots or scallions, stock or cooking water, vinegar, and parsley. Let steep 10 minutes or so, tossing gently several times. Then correct seasoning, toss with the optional oil, and the potatoes are ready for serving.
7. The potatoes will keep a day or two covered and under refrigeration. If they are made with oil, let sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature before serving.