La salade niçoise
No cooking necessary
Ingredients for 6 people:
5 ripe tomatoes
1/2 fresh onion or 3 green onions.
1 cup fresh fava beans
3 violet artichokes
6 ounce can of tuna
1 small green pepper
A handful of black olives of Nice
3 desalted anchovies (6 filets)
3 hard-boiled eggs
A sprig of basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
This recipe is not found very often in old cooking books because it was so natural to eat fresh vegetables with olive oil. A real salade niçoise is a great treat both for the eyes and for the taste. It never includes cooked vegetables (e.g. green beans or potatoes), nor rice.
It is inconceivable without sun-ripened tomatoes (the Saint-Pierre variety) and the use of virgin olive oil of absolute top quality. One can make it without necessarily including all the vegetables cited below, depending upon the season. It is better to use good quality vegetables in lesser quantities, than vegetables that are out of season.
Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Salt them and leave them in a colander so that they may release a little of their liquid.
Peel the cucumber
and cut it into paper thin slices.
Cut the fresh onions into thin rings.
Peel the fava beans.
Trim the artichokes: remove the outer leaves and the tip; remove the “beard” which surrounds the heart.
Cut the pepper into thin slices.
In a large flat serving bowl, layer the tomatoes and all the other vegetables, ending with the broad beans, the olives and the hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters.
Cover the lot with finely cut basil.
Prepare the vinaigrette immediately before serving. Note that, just as a good musician can be recognized by his own style of playing scales, a successful vinaigrette is the sign of a competent cook! Start by dissolving 3 pinches of fine salt in 2 tablespoons of good wine vinegar in a bowl. Beat the vinegar and salt with a fork, as for an omelette. Add the olive oil slowly while continuing to beat the mixture until the oil is fully incorporated.