Salade Niçoise

‘Some combinations become famous just because the mixture was such a happy one that it has lived on and on, pleasing successive generations of palates. Salade Niçoise is certainly one of these, and so famous that arguments exist as to what is the real ting. Being a great fan of potatoes, beans, eggs, and tomatoes in a salad, I naturally opt for the Escoffier ingredients; I am a great fan of his too, and he was a Niçois, after all’.*
Julia Child – The Way to Cook

Nothing is better than a meal prepared from ingredients that are fresh from the market or your own garden.
Salade Niçoise is a perfect, satisfying meal full of fresh vegetables, eggs, tuna and those lovely Niçois olives. 

In preparing Salade Niçoise presentation is important when you arrange all the wonderful, colorful ingredients on a platter – giving you the first opportunity to feast with your eyes.

Salade Niçoise consists of salad ingredients topped with tuna, French Potato Salad and Niçois olives. This makes for a wonderful lunch or a very satisfying summer dinner.

Salade Niçoise

1 large head of Boston lettuce, washed and dried
2 to 3 Tbs virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water and dried
2/3 to 1 cup salad dressing, such as Oil and Lemon Dressing* or with garlic variation
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
½ cup black Nicoise-type olives
3 or 4 Tbs capers
¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Shortly before serving, line a handsome large and wide salad bowl or roomy patter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with 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 of dressing. Place the potatoes in the center 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.

French Potato Salad

1 ½ pounds warm, sliced cooked potatoes
2 Tbs finely minced shallots or scallions
salt and freshly ground white pepper
¼ cup chicken stock or potato cooking water
1 ½ Tbs wine vinegar
2 to 3 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 to 3 Tbs light olive oil, optional.

Turn the warm potatoes into the bowl and toss gently with the shallots or scallions, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, stock or cooking water, vinegar, and parsley. Let steep 10 minutes or so, tossing gently several times. Then correct seasoning, toss with optional oil, and the potatoes are ready for serving.

I thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful combination in this dish. I think you'll find it a wonderful dish to prepare for lunch or for a special gathering.