It is Bastille Day today (National French Day). Presenting a refreshing salad for the occasion. Traditionally made with local olives, tuna and anchovies, this protein rich salad from Nice has become a staple all over France. I absolutely love this salad, not only is it flavorful and appetizing, it is deliciously light yet quite satisfying on a hot summer’s day. I ought not to complain though, as this summer has been relatively bearable, so what’s a few days when temperatures feel like 100 degrees F? On days like these, who needs to be slaving over a hot stove anyway? So this salad was created.
- 1/3 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or tarragon
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 cans of tuna
- 6 hard boiled eggs peeled and quartered lengthwise
- 1 1/4 pounds small young red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 12 small cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup olives
- 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed or several anchovies
- In a jar, place the oil, lemon juice or vinegar, shallots, herbs and mustard. Cover with a lid and shake until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette.
- Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 Tbsp of salt. Heat on high to bring to a boil. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Place them in a bowl and dress them with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.
- Cook the beans till tender, but still firm to the bite.
- Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter. Arrange tuna in center. Sprinkle the tomatoes and onions around the tuna. Arrange the potatoes and green beans at the edge of the lettuce. (Or arrange as you like).
- Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives anchovies/capers in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle everything with the remaining vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately. Should be served slightly warm or at room temperature.