Of late, I have come to the conclusion that tuna is redundant in a salade Niçoise. This is purely personal and I know that some aficionados would heartily disagree with me. It’s just that I don’t think cooked tuna is anything to write home about—and I’ve even tried cooking my own in olive oil. So, as long as the anchovies used are of superior quality, I say just up the quantity and ditch the tuna.
The other ingredients are also a matter for debate. Rather than say what I think are key ingredients I would only ask that strips of raw green bell pepper are not included. I also like green beans to be cooked through—not so that they squeak when you bite them.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturecrunchy, herby, savory
Type of Dishmain course salad
- 4 eggs
- 1 head Boston lettuce
- 8 small cooked artichoke hearts (such as those sold in jars from Italy)
- a handful of haricots vert or slender green beans, trimmed, boiled briefly, refreshed, and drained
- 12 small new potatoes, peeled, boiled, and drained
- 4 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
- 16 black olives
- 1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
- 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves
- Coarsely chopped anchovies (allow 5 per person, or more if desired)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- a generous pinch of sea salt black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
First, make the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Whisk well, then pour in the oil in a thin stream. Set aside.
Put the eggs in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Refresh under cold running water for 5 minutes, then peel and quarter lengthways.
Find either a round, shallow terracotta or white porcelain dish and arrange attractively all the salad ingredients, starting with a bed of lettuce. The arrangement is entirely a matter for you, though I think the two final ingredients should be a scattering of parsley and the anchovies in a crisscross pattern over the surface. Season discriminately with salt and generously with pepper.
Give the dressing a final whisk, and spoon over the surface. Eat immediately with some crusty bread.
1994, 2006 Simon Hopkinson