Sunday, January 8, 2012

Niçoise Salad/Salade Niçoise

Niçoise Salad/Salade Niçoise (French pronunciation: [niˈswaz]), is a mixed salad consisting of various vegetables topped with tuna and anchovies. The salad or "salade" is displayed on a flat plate or platter and arranged on a bed of lettuce. Ripe tomato wedges, wedges of hard-boiled eggs, are topped with canned tuna (tinned in oil), and Niçoise Cailletier olives. Finally the salad is garnished with tinned anchovies. The salad is served with vinaigrette.

The original version of the salad always included raw red peppers, shallots, and artichoke hearts, never potatoes. The French, especially in the Nice area, will clearly state no cooked vegetables are to be used: "la salade Niçoise ne contient pas de légumes cuits."["Niçoise salad contains no cooked vegetables"]

Rumours suggest the famous choreographer Balanchine may have influenced the creation of this dish during his tenure in Monte Carlo. Others claim it is a Provençal dish. This salad was made famous in America by "the French Chef", Julia Child.

Salade Niçoise and its ingredients are often debated by purists. A common debate is the use of lettuce, which differs from village to village.

The ingredients in the wikiHOW recipe differ from the traditional version in that the vegetables are cooked and potatoes are included. Also lettuce is used. Before choosing this one, i came across several Niçoise recipes, one of which uses fingerling potatoes of a variety of colors rather than new potatoes. i think the fingerlings make for a more interesting presentation and flavor. Also steaming rather than boiling the haricot verts retains crispness and flavor.

From wikiHOW

Niçoise Salad/Salade Niçoise Recipe

6 small new potatoes
7 ounces (200 grams) green beans
3.5 ounces (100 grams) lettuce
6 cooked artichoke hearts
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 eggs, hard boiled and halved
5.5 ounces (150 grams) black olives, pitted
7 ounces (200 grams) tuna

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Niçoise Salad/Salade Niçoise Photo By Denni Schnapp Flickr
Simmer the potatoes in a saucepan filled about halfway full with saltwater. Wait until the potatoes are cooked, rinse them under cold water, and then drain the water. Place the potatoes on the side. When they're cooled, cut them in half.

Trim the ends off of the beans and place them in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and refresh them in water. Drain again and place the beans on the side.

Get a bowl and mix the garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper together. Slowly add the olive oil to the mixture while whisking.

Create your salad. Take a big bowl and add the lettuce, potatoes, artichoke hearts, green beans, tomato wedges and olives. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the top. Dress the salad with basil and parsley. Season with salt and lightly toss everything together.

Serve the salad on a serving plate. Garnish the salad with hard boiled eggs and chopped tuna.

Text Credits: Wikipedia || wikiHOW
Image Credit: Flickr

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