If salade niçoise had been sentient rather than a salad, it’d sue for defamation of a 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’ food being served beneath the name salade niçoise.’ I assume he’d approve of this one, although.
Prep 5 min
Cook 30 min
500g large bean pods, or 50g french beans
4 ripe tomatoes
2 spring onions
½ pink pepper
50g small black olives
1 tbsp capers
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 of basil leaves, torn
4 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 them with bloodless water. Bring slowly to a boil over medium heat, then flip down the heat slightly and simmer gently for seven and a half minutes. Drain the water from the eggs and placed them in bloodless water to stop them from 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.
3. 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 if 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, 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.
5. 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 if 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 it 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.