If salade niçoise had been sentient, rather than a salad, it’d sue for defamation of person, such are the abuses heaped upon it in the name of culinary innovation. Indeed, one of Nice’s maximum notorious sons, former mayor Jacques Médecin, wrote of the trauma of seeing ‘the stays of other humans’s food being served beneath the name salade niçoise’. I assume he’d approve of this one, although.

Prep five min
Cook 30 min
Serves 2

2 eggs
500g large bean pods, or 50g french beans
4 ripe tomatoes
¼ cucumber
2 spring onions
½ pink pepper
50g small black olives
1 tbsp capers
four anchovies
A few basil leaves

For the dressing
1 small garlic clove
1 pinch coarse salt
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
1 small handful basil leaves, torn
four tbsp more-virgin olive oil
½ tbsp red-wine vinegar
Ground black pepper
1 Boil the eggs

Put the eggs into a pan just big enough to maintain them comfortably and cover with bloodless water. Bring slowly to a boil over a medium heat, then flip down the heat slightly and simmer gently for seven and a half of minutes. Drain the water from the eggs and placed them in bloodless water to stop them cooking similarly.

2 Prepare the beans …

Pop the extensive beans from their pods, then peel off their papery skins (unless they’re very young, in which case you may leave them on). If you’d prefer to use French beans rather, deliver a pan of salted water to a boil, simmer them for a few minutes till just smooth, then decant right into a sink of bloodless water to stop them cooking. Dry earlier than use.
Three … and then the tomatoes

Put the tomatoes in a pan of boiling water for 30 seconds, then scoop out and, once cool sufficient to address, gently peel off their skins – in the event that they haven’t split inside the warmth, use your fingernail or the tip of a small, sharp knife to help tease off enough to get began. Cut in half of, scoop out and discard the seeds, then reduce the flesh into thick slices.
4 Now for the cucumber, onion and pepper

Peel the cucumber (I want to do that in stripes, but then I like stripes on the entirety), reduce it in 1/2 lengthways, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the cucumber into chunky 1/2-moons. Finely chop the spring onions. Deseed the pepper and reduce it into fairly skinny strips.
Five Make the dressing

Put the peeled garlic clove right into a mortar with a pinch of coarse salt, then mash to a paste. Add the anchovies – in the event that they’ve been packed in salt, in preference to oil, you’ll need to present them a short rinse first – and mash them, observed through the basil. Finally, comprise the vinegar after which the olive oil till properly emulsified. Season to taste.

6 Start constructing the salad

Toss the beans, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion and red pepper in a large bowl with two-thirds of the dressing, till everything is thoroughly lined. Using your hands, elevate out the dressed salad and set up on a serving plate.
7 Add the eggs, capers, olives and anchovies

Gently knock the blunt stop of each egg towards a difficult floor till it cracks, then peel. Cut the eggs into quarters and season lightly. Arrange those on top of the salad. Pit the olives, if you like, and rinse the salt off the capers and anchovies, if want be. Cut the anchovies into slivers. Scatter the olives, capers and anchovies everywhere in the salad.

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