Sunday, 12 April 2009

A Classic

Salad Nicoise

We had this last night, the first summery evening of the year. It was a triunph. Fun to prepare, although not exactly a snip, but we all got involved, and nothing was exactly a big job.

First we got the eggs boiled, also the baby new potatoes - which were perfect for the dish. I boiled them very, very gently in a little vegetable stock. Cooled then halved. For the eggs, it doesn't matter how hard, softish even is okay. One each, halved. Everything was fresh-bought that afternoon, which gave it a restaurant standard (not my words)....Whatever. Did this work!

French green beans just cooked and dressed with a little butter and lemon, with lemon wedges. Fresh black olives, a jar of anchovies, two beautiful Romaine lettuce which I chopped straight onto the plate. Wedged tomatoes, salted and let to stand in a little olive oil. And some thinly-sliced red onions.

So. The final step was the tuna steaks, which we fired hot, just like steaks, a teeny bit charred on one side with a bit of fresh crushed pepper, then turned over and turned down to cook through. Or rare, as Ripton likes it. The rest was simply putting the components on the table. So began the building of this wonderful classic. Chunks of fresh tuna on top. And then a Ceasar dressing. We used Tesco's Finest, which was fine.

The pleasure in the eating of this dish is the infinitely variable combinations as you eat your way through. We were talking about it all day today - me especially.

So here's the list:

Tuna steaks, one each
Romanine lettuce
1 hard-boiled egg each
anchovies, four each
new potatoes, one or two each
black olives
French green beans
red onions
Ceasar salad dressing

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