Julia Child's take on Salade Niçoise requires a bit of assembly, but the end result is a fresh and delicious anytime lunch or dinner.
- 1 large head of Boston lettuce, washed and dried
- 2 to 3 tbsps extra 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*
- 3 or 4 fine ripe red tomatoes, peeled if you wish, and cored, quartered, and seasoned before serving
- 8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
- 1 quart French Potato Salad**
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
- 1 can flat anchovy fillets packed in oil, opened and drained just before serving
- 1/2 cup black Niçoise-type olives
- 3 or 4 tbsps capers
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
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. Toss the beans in a mixing bowl with a little of the dressing, and correct seasoning. Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes. Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of the dressing. Place the potatoes in the centre of the bowl or platter; mound beans at strategic intervals, interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna. Ring the salad with the eggs, and curl an anchovy on top of each. Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers and parsley. Serve as soon as possible.
*For the vinaigrette, you can use a ratio of three parts olive oil to one part lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Julia's vinaigrette recipe is also a great option.
**To make French Potato Salad, combine 1 1/2 pounds warm, sliced, cooked potatoes in a bowl with two tablespoons finely minced shallots or scallions, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup chicken stock or potato-cooking water, 1 1/2 tablespoons wine vinegar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Let steep 10 minutes or so, tossing gently several times. Then correct seasoning, and toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons light olive oil if you like.
“Salade Niçoise” from THE FRENCH CHEF COOKBOOK by Julia Child, copyright © 1968 by Julia Child. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.