It's cold. Il fait froid. There's no way getting around it, unless you're pregnant (like me) and you alternate between hating the cold Melbourne winter and feeling so hot and heavy and ugh that the only thing to comfort you is glorious French food. Soup is a very big go-to in France especially in winter, and what would Paris be without its association to soup a l'oignon, or soup au pistou (which I grew up on) originating from Provence. Like how I sneaked a reference in there of Paris to Provence. wink wink.
Well back to me. And being pregnant. Sometimes soup just doesn't cut it and I need something heavier.
Welcome to my version of SALADE NIÇOISE! Healthy, filling and ooh la la does it hit the spot so good, plus it's really easy to make it YOUR way. Add something or take it away.
Ingredients for salad
300 g small potatoes ( I like small ones cos I can cut easily into quarters)
100 g green beans (you can remove the ends before cooking)
1 head baby cos lettuce (or any you like)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil if you prefer but this will alter the traditional taste)
200 g punnet of cherry or roma tomatoes, cut in halves.
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
325 g piece of fresh tuna ( or you can use good quality canned tuna if you prefer, and it's on hand)
small punnet of fresh black olives (optional, but really really good)
Ingredients for dressing
( NOTE * I don't make a dressing, instead I squeeze lemon juice over the salad. But if you like here is a recipe for a really French dressing for this salad.)
5 marinated anchovies
1 garlic clove
1/2 lemon, squeezed into juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. To make the dressing, you can put all the ingredients in blender, then put to the side till it's time to serve, cos that's how easy it was to make.
2. Cook the potatoes until tender, drain and put to the side.
3. Cook the beans in salted water until still slightly crunchy. Maybe only 5 mins.
4. Boil the eggs, until almost hard but you still want a little ooziness in the middle.
5. In separate bowl, add your cherry tomatoes and drizzle with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
6. If you are using a tuna fillet, cook it at this point ( just seared on each side ).
7. Whisk any remaining olive oil, balsamic and lemon juice in small bowl and toss lettuce leaves through.
Now it's time to put it all together. Really, do it how you will - but I would usually:
8. Place lettuce leaves in bottom of wide brimmed bowl. Then add halved eggs, beans, potatoes and tomatoes on top. Place tuna on top of that or to the side. This is when I drizzle with either my lemon juice and salt flakes, or if you made the actual dressing, drizzle on top now.
That's it. Super easy. Super adaptable to your own tastes. It's great as a winter salad that hits the spot. It's fresh. It's healthy. It's French. Just make it.
Oh, and here is a photo of soup au pistou ... which is a close second. Should I share this recipe next edition??? This particular photo is from David Lebovitz's blog. He does a killer soup au pistou.