Salade Nicoise – 10 July 2013

We still had half a can of tuna (tonno) left, so I decided to make this salad once again. No doubt will make it a few more times over the summer.

main130710-Nicoise-undressedHere’s what needs to be done:

130710-ingredientsClean baby potatoes and yellow and red beets, but don’t peel (one bunch of 5 small beets per person – each gets half the reds and half the yellows; a good handful of potatoes per person). Wash and trim ends from haricots verts (maybe 14 per person). Boil two pans of salted water. In pan 1, blanch haricots verts 2 minutes and remove, then add the cleaned yellow beets and oil 15 minutes or more, till tender. Peel the beets and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size. In the other pan, boil two eggs for 10 minutes, and at the samt time boil the potatoes 15 minutes (assuming they are the size of marbles, like these), remove and add the red beets and cook 15-20 minutes till done. Peel the beets, and cut as with yellow beets. Cut potatoes in half. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters, or whatever you like.

Two colors of beets, two colors of radishes

Two colors of beets, two colors of radishes

Wash two to four radishes (used 3), trim and slice into thin slices. Wash one small (Persian) cucumber and slice as much as desired. Cut grape tomatoes in half – I like crosswise myself – likewise with several Nicoise olives. Allocate 1/4 can (just under 2 oz) drained tuna to each plate. Rinse salt-cured anchovies and fillet them, and allocate one fillet to each salad (or two if they’re small).

Arrange prettily. D comments that separating the ingredients, as shown in this recipe in Saveur, is very French – you get to experience each ingredient on its own (if you like – or in your own combinations) and the freshness and quality of the ingredients is paramount. bread130710I made the dressing as in the recipe, except that I minced the garlic and pounded it in a mortar with a rounded 1/4 tsp Kosher salt. We both thought more salt would have been good.

I bought a Semifreddi seeded roll for a small bread “loaf,” just for dinner, and we ended up finishing it. It was a nice accompaniment to the salad, and also to the wine.

We had the rest of the bottle of North Berkeley Wines’ Cotes du Rhone from two nights ago, and I really enjoyed it a lot: Domaine la Fourmente, “amour de fruit.”

130710-dessertfordinnerLater, we had another slice of the blueberry cream pie that R made for …


Here’s the entire pie:

130710-lunchdessertWe did slightly better at slicing it in the evening – here’s the first attempt.

130710-dessertforlunchR made the pudding himself rather than using a mix, and it was a bit runny, but probably a lot better tasting. 130710-lunchdessertcloseupHe cooked some of the blueberries and left others fresh, per the recipe, which is from D’s Mom, C.

We ate up the rest of the polenta for lunch, in a way I had wanted to try: with sautéed hen-of-the-woods mushrooms on the side. They went very well together!


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