Salad Nicoise | JC 100 – Week 4

Time is flying by with the Julia Child 100 year celebration and it’s already onto week 4! This time with the fancy and filling Salad Nicoise [nee-SWAHZ]. With each assignment Carlene and I receive, we try to stay true to the recipe, but add a little extra flare if possible! This week is no exception. Instead of piling a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, we wanted to use some great fresh tuna and a different plating style to class things up a bit!

Salad Nicoise

  • 2-4 Large leafs of Boston Lettuce
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Handful of Green Beans
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1 Tuna Steak
  • 2 Slices of Potato from French Potato Salad
  • 1 Hard-boiled Egg
  • 2-4 Tsp of Capers

We downsized this recipe quite a bit, turning it into more of an appetizer rather than a main course, but if you are looking to serve more people you can check out Julia Child’s original recipe for Salad Nicoise here (will update to exact recipe page once they add it).

Start off by cooking your potatoes, beans, and eggs. Evenly slice your potatoes and boil them in a large pot of water for about 20 minutes until they reach desired tenderness. Fill another pot with water and your eggs, cooking on high heat. Once your water reaches a boil, allow it to remain at a boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from heat allowing to continue cooking for about 15 minutes, placing the eggs in cold water afterwards. In another pot, or one of the pots which you cooked your potatoes/eggs in, blanch your green beans in salted water for 3-5 minutes, tasting to make sure they are properly cooked.

Parsley Pesto

  • 1-2 Handfuls of parsley
  • ½ Shallot
  • 5 Olives
  • ½ Lemon (juiced)
  • ½ Tsp Garlic (minced)
  • ½ Tsp Anchovy paste
  • Pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil

While you are boiling everything, you can begin to prepare your other ingredients. Chiffonade your lettuce into even strips and slice your tomatoes. In a pestle and mortar, or food processor, start your parsley pesto. While the recipe here is an estimate of ingredients, (as I was adding everything to taste, not measuring), I feel the amounts are a fairly accurate starting point. But as always, taste as you go and adjust the ingredients accordingly. What you should end up with, is a pesto that starts with the tangy and peppery bite of the lemon and parsley, but mellows out as flavours of the garlic, shallots and anchovy come through.

French Potato Salad

  • 1½ Pounds warm sliced cooked potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Finely minced shallots
  • Salt & Freshly ground white pepper
  • ¼ Cup Chicken stock
  • 1½ Tbsp Wine vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsp Chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-3 Tbsp Light olive oil (optional)

Once your potatoes have finished cooking, drain the water from them and mix in the ingredients of the French Potato Salad until it coats each potato. You can also shell and slice your hardboiled egg, as well as slicing your green beans in halves or quarters if you desire.

After preparing each part of the dish, get a pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. As you are waiting for the pan to heat, you can begin preparing each dish. Start off by mixing some green beans with your lettuce and placing them on your plate, drizzling with some olive oil and lemon juice if you desire. On top of your lettuce, stack a tomato slice and a slice or two of potato on that. Sprinkle some capers and olives around the salad if you wish and place a slice or two of egg on the side.

Once your pan has reached medium heat, salt and pepper your tuna, cooking for about 45 seconds to a minute for a beautifully rare tuna. If you wish to cook it more, just watch the side of the tuna, cooking until you have reached the desired amount of red in the center. When the tuna is cooked, evenly slice it, placing it on top of the potato. Place a smear of pesto and grate some lemon zest onto the salad and that’s it! A beautifully presented and sophisticated Salad Nicoise!

I hope everyone is enjoying all of Julia’s classics and keeps checking back in each week to see what we create next!

Bob

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