In honor of Julia Child’s Birthday I always try to cook a recipe from her cookbooks. Julia tended to make even an easy recipe a little more difficult but this one is really not to difficult at all. I also have her ratatouille recipe on my blog and highly recommend that for a delicious dish made with fresh vegetables. This is a delicious main-course salad, and I have to say the Nicoise is probably my favorite of all time. If I am out for lunch or dinner and it’s on the menu I almost always order it no matter where I am. No two are ever alike. In honor of Julia I am going to make this beautiful hearty salad for dinner.
This is how she did it, feel free to substitute where you’d like. I actually substituted grilled chicken for the tuna.
Here is a quote of Julia’s that I love. ” Learn how to cook–try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun” That says it all.
1 large head Boston lettuce, I like to cut up into small pieces . Julia likes her lettuce leaves on a large platter. Your choice here.
1 pound green beans, cooked .( throw into boiling salted water for about 2 minutes till they turn bright green , then throw into ice bath to stop the cooking)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots or red onions chopped small
Kosher Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 – 4 ripe red tomatoes , cut into wedges. Or, 10- 12 cherry tomatoes halved.
3 – 4 potatoes “boiling” ones. Peeled, sliced, and cooked. ( I actually made her French Potato Salad, so used those potatoes, plain boiled ones are just fine though) *recipe for French Potato Salad under separate listing. I have to say the French Potato Salad made the potatoes just amazing.
1 6 oz. can tuna fish, preferably oil-packed ( I substituted grilled chicken) or no protein is also just fine.
6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 can of flat anchovy fillets , I cut up into small pieces. Use as many or as few as you’d like
1/3 cup small black Nicoise-type olives
2-3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Julia’s Basic Vinaigrette
1/2 Tbsp. finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup of excellent olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
I usually use food processor or blender to mix all ingredients, adding olive oil last to emulsify. You can do by hand with a whisk, remember to add olive oil last. Correct seasonings to taste.
You can line a platter or wide bowl with lettuce leaves or chop up lettuce leaves, whichever you like. Julia likes to drizzle a little olive oil on the lettuce, I didn’t because the dressing is enough.
Toss the beans in a bowl with a little vinaigrette . Place the potatoes on lettuce, mound the beans interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna. Ring the salad with the eggs and place an anchovy filet on top of each egg. Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter olives, capers, and parsley . Serve as soon as possible. See photo how I did it this time, it was just for me so I obviously used less ingredients and did it my way.
Now you can do your salad however you like, I like my anchovies cut up and dispersed in salad, so you get a little bit with each bite. Make it your own Salade Nicoise. It’s just a delightful main dish salad. Light and Beautiful.
*Serves 6 nicely as a main.