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Recipe

Salade Niçoise

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

There’s really no room for inferior ingredients to hide in this salad, so use the best produce and canned tuna you can find; I especially like ventresca-style tuna, which tastes rich and flakes beautifully.

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 2-1/2 lb. tomatoes (8 to 10 medium), cored and sliced into wedges
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen fava beans, skinned if necessary
  • 1-1/2 lb. artichokes (about 6 small), trimmed, choke removed, and sliced very thinly lengthwise
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 cup Niçoise olives (or other black olives)
  • 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 10 to 12 oz. jarred or canned high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 580
      Fat Calories (kcal): 390
      Fat (g): 44
      Saturated Fat (g): 7
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 29
      Cholesterol (mg): 205
      Sodium (mg): 1190
      Carbohydrates (g): 23
      Fiber (g): 7
      Sugar (g): 6
      Protein (g): 26

Preparation

Make the vinaigrette

  • In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and mustard. Continue whisking as you add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Make the salad

  • Place the tomato wedges in a large colander and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Let drain for 20 minutes.
  • Rub a serving platter or six plates with the garlic to subtly perfume the dish, if you like; discard the clove.
  • Arrange the tomatoes and other vegetables, eggs, and olives on the platter or plates. Drape the anchovies over the top. Flake the tuna into bite-size pieces, and arrange on the salad. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Rip or snip the basil leaves into pieces, scatter over the salad, and serve.

Vary the vegetables. In place of favas, try blanched, cooled green beans. Boiled, cooled, and sliced new potatoes are a popular addition in bistros in Paris, while lettuce, celery, or cucumbers would add refreshing crunch.

Pick your preferred olive. Niçoise olives, small olives with an intensely savory flavor, are—perhaps obviously—the classic choice. They’re not easy to pit, so they’re almost always sold and served unpitted. Feel free to swap them for other brine-cured olives, such as Kalamatas, if you prefer.

Simplify the dressing. I like a mustardy vinaigrette paired with the salad, but it’s also common to simply drizzle it with some extra-virgin olive oil and maybe a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Omit the whole anchovies. I love anchovies, and they’re even more traditional than tuna. But they’re polarizing, and lots of people are squeamish when faced with a fillet. You can skip serving them whole, but keep the deep savory flavor they provide by mashing a fillet or two to a paste and whisking it into the vinaigrette.

Use fresh tuna instead of canned. Though many would argue that the bold flavor of canned tuna is integral to a Niçoise salad, there’s no law saying you can’t use slices of grilled or seared fresh tuna instead.

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