La Salade Nicoise!

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Here is Nice!, Cote d’ Azur, France .

From this splendid region, where tourists flock from all over the world  to enjoy  the beauty of blue sea and sky, sun, fun, fantastic food , La Salade Nicoise,  is more than a classic fare.I was lucky enough to live there for three years, and I miss it ! At that time, every single local I knew would prepare  la salade nicoise, for lunch, s’il vous plait, at least twice a week, in summer or winter time.So I learned..

Olives groves cover the hills surrounding Nice, they produce these adorable small olives, very perfumed, looking like black diamonds, bringing  the taste of  slow pace sunny Provençal summers to the dish.

Enough chatting! Before we start,I want to tell you that 4 main ingredients , must be part of the salad.

The vinaigrette, made with really good quality olive oil and mustard, the tuna, (I like it fresh) but could be canned, the black olives nicoises  and the anchovies fillets tinned in olive oil.

Ingredients : serves 4 to 6

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice or mild vinegar
  • 3/4 cup  really good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • Salt and fresh fresh ground pepper

The salad ingredients

  • 2 medium grilled tuna steaks or 2  cans of tuna in olive oil.
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 6 small potatoes, peeled, boiled and cut in quaters
  • 4 to 5 hard boiled eggs, peeled, cut in quarters
  • 3 to 4 medium fresh tomatoes well ripe, cut in quaters
  • 1 small cucumber cubed
  • 1 small belle pepper cut in thin quarter
  • 6 oz of green beans, boiled, cooled
  • 1  romaine salad  lettuce leaves, washed, trimmed
  • 1 small white onion chopped small or 2 shallots chopped or cipollini onions
  • 1/2 cup olives nicoises, small black olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2 to 4 anchovies fillets drained.
  • a mix of fresh herbs, basil, thyme, parsley or tarragon.

How to prepare it: vinaigrette and salad.

  1. In a good medium bowl,add mustard, lemon, whisk in olive oil, mix well, add salt and pepper, reserve.
  2. If using  fresh tuna steaks, marinate your steaks about 1/2 hour into the refrigerator, in a plastic bag adding 2 to 3 Tbsp of olive oil,  lemon  juice and fresh herbs, When done, pat dry steaks well and grilled them on high heat, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Reserve and let it cool.
  3. Once eggs,potatoes, green beans are ready, boiled, cooled and cut in quarters,wash and cut tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, salad leaves. Tuna steaks are cut and prepared. Anchovies fillets, capers, black olive ready.
  4. Now, in large shallow salad bowl, arrange salad leaves, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette, add all vegetables, mix them carefully, drizzle well with vinaigrette, then add tuna and anchovies filets, top with black olives and capers, chiseled herbs, finish with remaining vinaigrette and serve with warm crusty slices of baguette!

Try it, it’s healthy and tellement bon!!

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