Salade Niçoise à l’Américaine – Niçoise Salad (American Style)

Ingredients:
4 Tuna Fillets (about 6 oz each)
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt, or coarse Kosher
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
12 baby Red Pontiac Potatoes
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper
4-6 oz Green Beans, trimmed
4 Eggs
Water for boiling
1/3-1/2 lb Butterhead Lettuce
1/2 cup Fresh Basil
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
1/4 cup Fresh Mint
4 Plum Tomatoes, Quartered
2 Tbsp Capers
12 Niçoise Olives
4-8 Anchovies (optional)
1 cup Niçoise Vinaigrette

Directions:

  • Prepare the Tuna:
    • Heat a skillet on medium heat with 1/2 Tbsp of the Olive Oil.
    • Cut the Tuna into 2″ x 1″ strips.
    • Rub with the Salt and Pepper.
    • Place the Tuna in the pan, and sear each of the four long sides, watching the small sides to make an even searing to desired done-ness.
    • Set in the Refrigerator.
  • Place the Eggs in a pot and cover with water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and let sit for 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove and run under cold water, and peel the eggs; in the Refrigerator.
  • Return the Water to a boil.
  • Add the Potatoes and the Green Beans
  • Cook for 4 minutes, until the Green Beans turn bright Green.
  • Remove the Beans first, using tongs, and then the Potatoes.
  • Run both under cold water and set in the Refrigerator.
  • Give all the ingredients at least 20 minutes to cool.
  • Prepare wide bowls or salad plates for plating by dividing the Lettuce evenly.
  • Tear the Basil and Mint, and divide with the Thyme among the salad plates.
  • Quarter the Tomatoes, Potatoes, and Eggs.
  • Decoratively divide the Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggs, and Green Beans among the salad plates. Usually this salad is deconstructed with the different items in piles next to each other on the Lettuce.
  • Slice the Tuna pieces perpendicular to the seared sides, in 1/4″ slices, and add to the Salad.
  • Add the Capers and Anchovies, and drizzle the Vinaigrette over it.

Serves 4

NOTES: Despite being what one would commonly find in most restaurants and diners in America and what Julia Child’s recipe calls Salade Niçoise, it is strikingly different from a true Salade Niçoise from Nice, France or the Côte d’Azur. Most noteworthy is the use of Blanched Potatoes and Green Beans–something not commonly used in the French namesake. Additionally, Mescaline salad would be used, and other items like Artichokes would be present. Still this is the version most Americans will know and recognize, and I find it tasty (without the Anchovies, which I have not yet come to like).  OH I should also mention that many of the French recipes  use Canned Tuna–I can only assume theirs is not “Chicken of the Sea”, though I’ve seen some marinated vacuum-sealed Tuna that may serve the purpose–and Lord know’s most diners use canned.

This salad, is often served as an Entrée, in a similar manner to the Cobb Salad.

I do have to share what Julia Child says about this sald in her book Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom:

Of all main-course salads, the Niçoise is my all-time favorite, with its fresh butter-lettuce foundation; its carefully cooked, beautifully green green beans; its colorful contrast of halved hard-boiled eggs, ripe red tomatoes, and black olives; all fortified by chunks of tunafish and freshly opened anchovies. It’s a perfect luncheon dish, to my mind, winter, summer, spring, and fall — an inspired combination that pleases everyone.

Advertisements

Niçoise Vinaigrette

Ingredients:
1 medium Shallot, minced
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped fine
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped fine
2 tsp Fresh Oregano, chopped fine
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
1 tsp Capers
1 Anchovy filet
1 Egg
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, coarsely ground

Directions:

  • Using a Mortar and Pestle, crush the Anchovy, Capers, and Shallots with the Herbs.
  • Wisk in the Egg and Dijon Mustard.
  • Add the Vinegar and Lemon Juice, and mix well.
  • Whisk in the Olive Oil.
  • When the Olive Oil is finished, taste, and add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Makes about 1 cup.

Tapenade

Tapenade

Ingredients:
1/2 cup variety of Black Olives, pitted
1/2 cup variety of Green Olives, pitted
1 Peperocini or Banana Pepper, de-seeded
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Capers
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Anchovy Paste (optional)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients into a food processor and pulse. You want a minced-grainy consistency.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Serve with bread or crackers or use as a topping on grilled meats.

NOTES: Tapenade comes from the Provençal region of Southern France, finding its name from the provençale word for capers, tapéno.
With regards to the types of Olives used… you can use any variety you choose. I like Kalamata Olives and Manzanilla Olives, but it is completely up to your tastes and cultivar availability. You can even use “Spanish Olives” with pimentos in the middle–gives it some color. I would probably not use a cheese-stuffed Olive, however.
I am not always a fan of Anchovies, and feel strongly that if you do not like ’em, leave ’em out.

Variations:
M›Ṽ/Ɣ – Leave out the Anchovy Paste.

Worcestershire Sauce

Ingredients:
1 White Onion , chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 1/4″ slice of Ginger
3 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorns
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Cardamom Pods
2 cups Malt Vinegar
1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Tamarind Pulp
3 Tbsp Salt
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Anchovy Paste
1/2 cup Water

Specialized Tools:
Cheese Cloth

Directions:

  • In a Cheese Cloth, combine Onion, Garlic, Mustard Seeds, Crushed Red Pepper, Peppercorns, Ginger, Cinnamon Stick, Cloves and Cardamom Pods, making a pouch. This will make it easier to remove the ingredients once the sauce is made.
  • In a large saucepan, Malt Vinegar, Molasses, Soy Sauce, and Tamarind Paste. Bring to boil. Place the Spice Pouch in, and lower the heat, simmering for about 50 minutes.
  • Add the Salt, Curry Powder, Anchovy Paste and Water to the pot. Let simmer 1o more minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, and pour into a container with an air-tight lid. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least two weeks, squeezing the Spice pouch every day.
  • After “brewing” for two weeks, remove the bundle, and put into sanitized Mason jar for storage.

NOTE: This is exceptional, but not the quickest thing to prepare. If you’re really in a hurry, or think this is just not worth it (you’re losing out) you may, at the last minute, to the degradation of what you are cooking, use Lea & Perinn’s, but never ever ever, a store-bought brand that contains HFCS!

Green Goddess Salad Dressing

Ingredients:
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
3 Tbsp Tarragon Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Parsley, fresh, chopped finely
3 Tbsp White Onion, minced
3 Tbsp Anchovy Paste
1 tsp Chives
2 tsp Capers, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Refrigerate until used.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

NOTE: Can serve on salads, or as a Dip with fresh vegetables.  This Dressing was created by the head chef of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923 to honor George Arliss and the play The Green Goddess. No, this is not a hippie food.