Have you been seeing the JC100 (Julia Child 100) banner featured on a number of blogs displaying recipes that have been taken from the Julia Child collections? Several bloggers are paying homage to this culinary giant and what would have been her 100th birthday this August 15th. Maybe I'm aging myself here but I remember watching her hosting her t.v. show and making really lousy attempts at mimicking her very distinctive voice. Let's also not forget that Julia was 6'1" tall and I'm only 5'2".
Each week a new recipe comes into my mailbox encouraging me to stretch myself and laugh at myself as I revisit "the voice". I still can't get it right but it sure makes me laugh whenever I try.
This week's recipe is Julia's very famous Salad Nicoise. Great as an appetizer; kind of a French antipasto and exceptional as a whole meal loaded with flavour, texture and good healthy ingredients. Julia would probably be horrified if she realized I left out the Boston lettuce and the olives but this has always been the way I eat this salad and it's in my top 5 salad category.
3 cups cold, blanched green beans
3 or 4 quartered tomatoes
1 cup vinaigrette (French dressing) with herbs
1 head Boston lettuce, separated, washed, drained and dried
3 cups cold French potato salad
1 cup canned tuna chunks, drained
1/2 cup pitted black olives, preferably the dry Mediterranean type
2-3 hard-boiled eggs, cold, peeled and quartered
6-12 canned anchovy filets, drained
2-3 Tbsp minced, fresh green herbs (I used parsley)
French Dressing (Sauce Vinaigrette) **
2 Tbsp good wine vinegar or a mixture of wine vinegar and lemon juice (I used white wine vinegar)
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp dry mustard
6 Tbsp salad or olive oil
1-2 Tbsp minced green herb such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil or a pinch of dried herbs
** This recipe doesn't make a full 1/2 cup of vinaigrette - I would double it
Place all ingredients in a closed top jar and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds
Slice cold potatoes and toss with some of the vinaigrette
Toss the lettuce leaves in the salad bowl with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette and place the leaves around the edge of the bowl.
Arrange the potato salad in the bottom of the bowl and build your salad with the other ingredients.
Just before serving, season the beans and tomatoes with several spoonfuls of vinaigrette. Toss the lettice leaves in the salad bowl with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette
Pour the remaining dressing over the top.