I've never been to Nice, France, but I think I know something of that sun-soaked resort town, the place food authority Colman Andrews calls "the most seductive corner of the Mediterranean." That's because I’ve eaten salade niçoise, the lusty, easy-going, part-French, part-Italian salad that is a signature dish of the region.
Niçoise is a classic dish, but it’s open to interpretation, so you can vary the ingredients if you like. For example, trade roasted red peppers for tomatoes, zucchini for beans, or sliced cheese for the tuna.
Cover eggs with cold water; bring to low boil, turn off heat, cover and let stand 8-9 minutes. Drain; chill eggs in ice water.
Mix the next four ingredients; whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Boil potatoes in salted water until barely tender; remove with slotted spoon to a colander. Add beans to the boiling water; cook until barely tender. Drain, chill in ice water, and drain again. Quarter the potatoes; toss with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette. Toss beans with a little vinaigrette.
Peel and quarter the eggs. Lay lettuce leaves on a platter. Drizzle with a little dressing. Arrange eggs, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, tuna or cheese, and olives on platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs or Parmesan.
Copyright by Terese Allen