Saturday, 28 September 2013

Salade niçoise rien à foutre - I don't give an eff salade niçoise (vegan mofo 2013 XXI)

Those Southerners get pretty proprietorial about their recipes, and salade niçoise is no exception. The internet is peppered with angry-sounding Niçois declaring what you may and may not include in a salade niçoise.

Well to them, I say rien à foutre. I'll include the things I like in this salad, and leave out the things I don't. What are you going to do about it? Come up to Paris and have words with me? Yeah, I thought not. Southern softies.

Here are a few of my favourite things thrown together in a tasty vinaigrette and given the thoroughly incorrect name 'salade niçoise':

2 very good tomatoes
6 small potatoes (rattes work well)
4 small artichoke hearts
2 generous handfuls green beans
8 olives
1 scant Tbsp capers

3 Tbsp very good olive oil
1 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, grated or crushed
Salt and pepper

  1. First, get your potatoes on to boil in salted water until tender. I like to leave the skins on for the health and texture benefits. To save time and water, you can add the green beans to the same pot 3-5 minutes before the potatoes are done. When they're tender, drain and allow to cool. 
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the rest of the salad: cut the tomatoes into wedges and do the same with the artichoke hearts if they're whole. Stick them in a large salad bowl. Add the olives and capers. When the boiled vegetables are cool, throw them in too, cutting the potatoes into bite-sized chunks if they're large.
  3. Now make the vinaigrette by forking all the ingredients together in a mug, or shaking them up in a clean jam jar. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Check seasoning. Serves two to three. Omni says: "A bit garlicky, but delicious".

The good thing about not using lettuce leaves here is that you can make the salad ahead of time. Nothing will wilt, and the ingredients will soak up the delicious vinaigrette and get to know each other. Great for picnics. You can always take along a few lettuce leaves to serve it on if you don't agree with lettuce-free salad - I don't give an eff.

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