Niçoise simply is to do with the city of Nice in the south of France. Salad Niçoise, arguably its most famous culinary export, is characterised by ingredients common to that part of the country close to the Mediterranean rim – tomatoes, eggs, green beans, potatoes, black olives, garlic, anchovies, and, of course, olive oil. It’s the perfect summer salad on a gloriously hot summer’s day – and a lovely, quick, light lunch.
- 175g new potatoes, washed and halved
- 100g fine green beans, trimmed
- 2 large eggs
- 160g can of tuna chunks in oil, drained
- 40g ready washed mixed salad leaves
- For the dressing:
- 1-2tbsp lemon juice or to taste
- 3tbsp olive oil
- ½tsp ready made Dijon mustard or to taste
- Pinch sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A handful black olives, optional
- Half a 50g tinned fillets of anchovy in olive oil, drained and cut in half
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water for about 15-20 mins or until tender. Add the green beans to the water for the last 3-5 mins. Drain the vegetables and rinse with cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, hard boil the eggs in a separate pan of water for about 8-10 mins (a little less if you like them slightly runny in the center). Drain, peel and quarter the eggs. Divide the salad leaves between two bowls or plates. Arrange the potatoes, green beans, eggs and tuna on top of a mound of salad leaves.
Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together, pour over the salad and serve scatter with black olives and anchovy fillets to taste.
Tinned fillets of anchovy are one of those things that you either love or you loathe; so add as many, or as few, as you personally like. The salad still tastes great if you leave the anchovies out altogether.