‘Nee-suahz’ is the pronunciation of this delectable salad. It originated from the French city of Nice. There are roundtable arguments over what goes into a proper Niçoise Salad. Interview any chef or any home-grown French and you will get a different answer every time.
Nonetheless, there are some constants that run through this dish. They include tuna, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, beans and hard boiled eggs. The spine-tingling aspect of this salad is, it can be eaten as a full meal or can accompany the role as part of a larger meal. It can also be served as a composed salad or as a tossed salad. Try your hands on this ‘sought-after’ salad and serve on a bed of lettuce!
- Red wine vinegar – 60 ml
- Salt and pepper – TT
- Virgin olive oil – 180 ml
- Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade – 12
- English cucumber – 480 g
- Green beans – 360 g
- Eggs, hard-boiled, chilled – 3
- Red bell pepper – 1
- Artichokes – 3
- Romaine lettuce, large leaves, washed – 12
- Mixed baby lettuce, leaves, washed – 18
- Fingerling potatoes, boiled, peeled, sliced, chilled – 360 g
- Cherry tomatoes – 24
- Red onion, sliced thin – 90 g
- Tuna, packed in oil, drained – 480 g
- Niçoise olives – 120 g
Mise en place, wash and slice basil in chiffonade. Hard-boil eggs and chill. Wash pepper, lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Boil, peel, slice and chill the potatoes. Slice red onion. Drain the tuna.
- Make a vinaigrette dressing using the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil and basil.
- Cut the cucumber in half, then into thin slices.
- Trim the green beans and cook al dente.
- Peel the eggs and cut into wedges.
- Remove the stem and seeds from the red pepper and slice it into thin rings.
- Cook the artichokes. Trim the outer leaves from each artichoke, leaving only the heart. Remove the choke from the heart and cut each heart into quarters.
- Line each cold plate with two romaine lettuce leaves and three mixed lettuce leaves. Arrange the remaining ingredients attractively. Use the contrasting shapes, colours and textures to create an attractive presentation.
- At service time, whisk the dressing to combine the ingredients and pour approximately 2 fluid ounces (60 millilitres) over each salad.