One of my favorite summer salads, Salade Niçoise, can be assembled at the last minute if you’ve remembered to cook the eggs, green beans and potatoes ahead of time. Then, you literally throw it together with a pre-made vinaigrette and Voilà! Lunch is served. I like to save some of the ingredients for decorating the Salade Niçoise but it is totally unnecessary. This is also a great dish where you can improvise with adding or eliminating ingredients. However, don’t skimp on the quality of tuna as it is the salad’s main ingredient. Wild caught tuna ventresca, the belly cut of the fish, is my preferred choice.
4 hard-boiled eggs quartered
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and blanched
4 small potatoes boiled and sliced thinly
1 6-oz jar tuna fish, packed in olive oil
¼ cup Niçoise olives
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, quartered (or a handful of cherry tomatoes)
1 head of butter lettuce washed and torn into small pieces (or ½ pound of any salad greens of your choice)
8 anchovies, (optional) left whole making them easily passable to your neighbor if you don’t care for their strong taste.
Assemble all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently with a light vinaigrette. Start with ¼ cup dressing, then add one teaspoon at a time, as needed.
¾ cup EVO
¼ cup sherry vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Throw into a jar and shake until it emulsifies. (NB: There will be leftover vinaigrette to use for another salad another day.)
Rosé from Provence, of course, to go with this salad with originated in Nice, France. Or look for any other crisp, dry rosé—every country makes one now!—to serve with this flavorful salad.