“The family is the homeland of the heart.”
Giuseppe Mazzini, Politician, 1802 – 1872
Each year, we holiday in France with my husband’s family, which includes my mother and father-in-law, my brother- and sister-in-laws and their children. All 15 of us hire out a country home in the middle of France to enjoy one week of fun, food and sunshine.
We share the cooking between us. Breakfast is usually a leisurely affair of ‘make your own’. Lunch is crusty bread, with a selection of French cheeses and cooked meats. The afternoon usually consists of cocktails by the pool followed by an evening meal or BBQ.
Whilst Salad Niçoise is strictly an hors-d’oeurve, I think it is the perfect lunchtime salad also. The combination of tastes the ingredients is what makes this special.
4 small potatoes, boiled and skin removed * 1 tbsp olive oil * 200g (7oz) green beans, halved * 285g (10oz) tinned tuna, drained and separated out into bite size chunks * 200g (7oz) green lettuce * 140g (5oz) cherry tomatoes, halved * 28 black olives * 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered * 1 garlic clove, crushed * 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar * 1 tsp lemon juice * 125ml (4 floz) extra virgin olive oil * freshly ground black pepper
Slice the cooked potatoes and toss into the 1 tbsp of olive oil, then leave to one side. Cook the green beans in salted water for 3 minutes, drain and then refresh under cold water. Keep to one side. Arrange the lettuce on four plates and then layer on the potatoes, beans, tomatoes and olives finishing off with the eggs. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Mix the vinaigrette: garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and oil in a bowl and whisk. Pour over the salad, Finish with freshly ground pepper.
Tip: You can use some of the left-over potatoes from other recipes. Left-over cooked snap peas can also be used instead of green beans.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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