During the glorious fortnight of summer weather in July, friends stayed with me in France. After lovely days out, we often ate a hearty, substantial salad for supper. Here is Jenny’s version of Salad Nicoise. It is best made with traditional bib lettuce, as this lettuce is soft leaved and does not compete with the other flavours in the salad. You could use Cos or Romaine lettuce for a crunchier salad, but avoid rocket, spinach, Italian mixed leaves, etc. They are really too strongly flavoured and will spoil the enjoyment of the other ingredients. Amounts can vary according to how many people you are going to serve.
(We left out the haricots verts by accident, but they are one of the traditional ingredients.)
1 bib lettuce
2 cups cooked, firm new potatoes. We left the skins on for more flavor.
2 – 3 hardboiled eggs
1 tin tuna in oil, with the oil drained. (Tuna in brine does not have the same flavor or texture.)
2 spring onions, chopped
3 – 4 sliced tomatoes (or several cherry tomatoes)
a handful of pitted black olives
basil leaves to garnish
Jenny’s Salad Dressing:
6 parts good quality olive oil
1 part Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
The grated zest of one lemon
A little lemon juice
In a large bowl layer ingredients, working in rounds, in this order:
Bib lettuce broken into bite-size pieces (not too small)
Chopped spring onions
Eggs (sliced or quartered)
Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour dressing evenly over the salad.
Do not mix or stir.