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La (Vraie) Salade Niçoise



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Nice, Soleil
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Hotel Negresco
Hotel Negresco [Nice, France]
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La (Vraie) Salade Niçoise
or "The Real Salade Niçoise"

Flavors of the Riviera
Discovering Real Mediterranean Cooking
by Colman Andrews, Bantam Books, Inc., 1996


10 medium-sized firm tomatoes, quartered
12 anchovy fillets or 2 6-ounce cans best-quality
olive-oil packed canned tuna
1/2 pound shelled baby fava beans
(about 1 pound unshelled)*

12 baby artichokes*
1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed,
very thinly sliced
6 small onions, very thinly sliced
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
3-1/2 ounces Niçoise olives
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Basil leaves, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the tomatoes on a platter and lightly salt them. If using anchovies,
cut each fillet into three or four pieces; if using tuna, shred it coarsely.
If using favas, blanch beans in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain
and rinse well in cold water. Slip beans out of their skins by grasping
each one by its grooved end and squeezing gently so that it pops out.
If using artichokes, cut stems off, pull off tough outer leaves by hand,
and trim a few more layers of leaves with a sharp knife. Scoop out the
chokes and cut artichokes into thin slices.
Rub bottom and sides of a large salad bowl with garlic pieces, then
discard. Arrange anchovies or tuna, favas and/or artichokes (or neither), cucumber, green pepper, onion, eggs, and olives in the bowl. Drain the tomatoes, salt them again, and add them as well.
Make a dressing with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate both
salad and dressing for about 1 hour before serving, then drizzle dressing
over salad and serve. Serves 6.

Taste the international flavors of 

* Medecin (author of the definitive book on Niçoise cooking, La
Cuisine du comte de Nice)
allows that, if the season allows, both
favas and artichokes may be used -- but that it is also permissible
to use one or the other or neither.

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