A couple weeks ago, my dad stopped over in London for a night, on his way to your side of the world. I was really nice to see him, even briefly. But, we had enough to have some dinner and catch up in person for a change! 🙂
Once he landed we started coordinating what time and where we would meet up, as he had a meeting soon after landing. However, as I live right by the place that the meeting was taking place, I decided to surprise him on his way out of the train and to his meeting. And surprise it worked! :)However, the biggest surprise came for me with the huge goodie bag he brought from Greece to my complete surprise. A big box of chocolates, olives, olive oil, 3 different tapenades, olive oil preserved fillet of tuna, feta, more amazing Greek cheese, saffron, etc… In short, AMAZING!!!
So the other day, I was wondering what to prepare for dinner. I opened the fridge and nothing inspiring was going on in there, then I turned to my cabinets. At once I realized that we had the perfect ingredients for a Salade Niçoise, thanks to my tremendous goodie bag. So, being Matina, I wanted to do this salad properly, and I looked a little deeper into the origins of a proper Niçoise. There is no specific ingredient mix which constitutes a Niçoise, it is more about the right attitude of the preparation and ingredients. The right idea and attitude is that it is meant to be filling, rustic, fresh, salty and sharp.
Some of the common ingredients that feature in this salad are:
- Sharp : Capers or olives / garlic / mustard
- Rustic : Potatoes / Beans (of any type) / hardboiled egg
- Salty : Anchovies (or tuna)
- Fresh : Tomatoes / fresh herbs / lemon
Taking this as my lead I prepared my yummy yummy Niçoise, btw it is quite filling!
Makes 2 individual salads
- 4 small fingerling potatoes (quartered lengthwise)
- 16 green beans
- 2 large handfuls of salad greens
- 1 small jar preserved tuna in good quality olive oil
- 2 tomatoes (cut in wedges)
- 6 good quality olives (pitted and quartered lengthwise)
- 2 hardboiled eggs (quartered lengthwise)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Handful of chopped parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove freshly minced garlic if you are brave enough)
- ½ tsp mustard
- Olive oil (if any extra is needed for dressing)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat enough water in a small sauce pan to cover the potatoes and green beans. Bring them to a boil, and then simmer.
- Remove and strain the green beans after 5 minutes of simmering, leaving the potatoes to cook for 15 minutes(while you prepare the salad).
- Wash the salad greens and lay them at the bottom of 2 salad dishes. Then layer with tuna steaks, keeping the oil and container for the dressing.
- Then add the green beans, tomatoes, eggs and olives.
- Remove the potatoes from the heat and leave to cool in colander.
- In the small jar with the reserved oil, combine juice of 1 lemon, vinegar, chopped parsley, garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Close lid tightly, shake vigorously until the dressing homogenizes and open to taste. Top up with additional olive oil if needed.
- Add potatoes (once cooled) to the top layer of the salad and drizzle with dressing, ensuring you distribute it evenly. Dig in!