Two weeks ago my 8-year-old daughter and I were in Paris for 6 days and we both arrived home with our souls full of inspiration. I must say it, I love everything French. It's an amazing country of fantastic flavors & smells. Your senses are on overload. Every store window is eye candy. With a visit to the Le Bon Marché in the 6th which happened to be around the corner from our apartment - I was in pure bliss and amazement. The selection of foods internationally was a mouth-watering experience.
Simple ingredients give such pleasure for everyday cooking - this is what the French believe in. This leads into my inspiration for a fresh, green mixed salad for Saturday evening with my husband and children.
Salad Nicoise tossed with a simple French Vinaigrette.
For the salad,
1 pound small new potatoes
18 cherry tomatoes halved
5 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
2 ahi tuna fillet - slightly grilled - 3 minutes
1/4 cup scallions
8 salt packed anchovies, rinsed & drained
1 handful haricot verts, blanched
1/4 cup cilantro, for garnish
Mixed together gently with vinaigrette. Place ahi tuna on top and serve with a glass of crisp, clean Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc.
Makes about 1/4 cup (60 ml), enough for one large green salad
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons verjus
- 1/2 small shallot, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3T to 4T (45 ml to 60 ml) olive oil
fresh herbs, if desired
1. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, and shallot. Let stand for about ten minutes.
2. Mix in the Dijon mustard, then add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil. Stir well, then taste. If too sharp, add the additional olive oil and more salt, if necessary.
If you wish to add fresh herbs, it’s best to chop and mix them in shortly before serving so they retain their flavor.
Storage: This dressing will keep for about eight hours at room temperature. If you want to make it farther in advance, it’s best to add the shallots closer to serving so they don’t lose their verve.
After a long lazy day in the garden, a fresh green salad made for a delicious, satisfying evening.