Salade Nicoise (sah-lahd nee-swahz) is one of the great classic dishes of regional France and its succulent mixture of potatoes, French beans, tomatoes, anchovies and capers in a spicy French Dressing evokes the warmth of its city of origin.
Tuna fish is often added to the salad, both in France and outside, although strictly speaking this is not traditional.
With the addition of tuna fish, however, and accompanied by crusty bread and lots of well-chilled Provencal white wine, it makes a delightful summer meal. Served without tuna fish, it makes a perfect accompaniment for charcoal grilled steaks or roast beef.
1 small lettuce, outer leaves removed, washed and separated into leaves
6 medium-sized cold cooked potatoes, diced
10 oz. cold cooked French beans, cut INTO ½ inch lengths
6 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and quartered
4 fl. oz. French Dressing
6 anchovy fillets, halved
10 black olives, stoned
2 tablespoons capers
Arrange the lettuce leaves decorativcly on a large, shallow serving plate and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, beans and tomatoes. Pour over the French dressing and, using two spoons, carefully toss the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated.
Spoon the vegetables on to the lettuce leaves and garnish with the anchovy fillets, olives and capers.
Serve at once.