I interrupt my regular program of heavy meat-based dishes to bring you something more appropriate to the 100º weather outside my window. Much as I love lamb broths and spicy chicken wings and braised pork and so on, by evening my apartment is so disgustingly hot it’s as much as I can do to blanch a bean. So here is a delicious salad which is a whole meal in itself.
It’s supposedly Salade Niçoise, but I can tell you right now anyone from Nice would be disgusted with me for claiming that. Salade Niçoise is one of those dishes, like bouillabaisse, which no one will ever agree upon. But don’t feel bad – wikipedia defines ‘salad’ as a dish which a) may include vegetables, pasta, legumes, meat, poultry, seafood, fruit, sauces, dressings, noodles, gelatins, nuts, and croutons, b) may be served hot or cold, c) may be served at any point during a meal. Thanks for narrowing that down, guys! In other words, salad is anything I say it is. So this is Salade Niçoise.
Dan’s Salade Niçoise
½ can of good quality tuna
2 eggs, hard-boiled and halved
A bunch of cherry tomatoes
A handful of tiny black olives (Niçoise, in other words)
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled until just tender and sliced
A handful of green beans, blanched in boiling water but still crunchy
½ red pepper, sliced
½ yellow pepper, sliced
½ cup olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
4 anchovy fillets in oil
Sea salt and pepper (freshly ground)
Arrange the ingredients artfully on a plate. Chop the anchovy fillets and mix with the other dressing ingredients and drizzle on top.
A word about the tuna: I use Quinault Pride albacore tuna, because I can get it. It is loin-cut, preservative-free, caught and packed by Quinault Tribal Enterprises on the Taholah reservation in Washington, and it is good. Unfortunately, their website seems to be down, but if you live in Washington, you should be able to seek it out.