I wish I could remember when I first had salade Niçoise – it would have been the early 70’s and I remember a recipe I had for it, I can see the picture clearly in my mind, but I just can’t find the original. I’ve looked through all my old recipe books but it remains elusive. The picture which I used as a template for making the spectacular dish, showed a large, shallow pottery dish, lined with shredded lettuce, not too much, just enough to cover the bottom, then arranged in concentric rings from the centre were various vegetables. I remember tomatoes, green beans (had to have green beans the recipe said!) maybe slices of pepper and onion but I don’t really remember, definitely black olives, sprinkled with bottled/tinned anchovy fillets (although I guess you could use fresh) hard boiled eggs in quarters, and in the middle a pile of tuna – we used tinned because that was all that was available when I made it! It did look beautiful, those vibrant contrasting colours, the fresh vegetables and fish! I don’t remember a dressing, and i don’t remember boiled potatoes as a lot of recipes suggest. If only more people in my family liked salad, guess what I would be having for dinner!
The reason it came to mind was a very interesting blog I came across:
LIke any great food, the debates are endless about how exactly it should be constructed – but to my mind it should look beautiful and quite formal, not a joyous heap of lovely ingredients. That was the key thing in my mind,how it presented. I wonder when I’m next having people round, maybe I could suggest a supper evening with that as a course!