It's July, it's holiday time, and I'm thinking "South of France". What better than a Salad Niçoise? By the way, Niçoise, if you've ever wondered, means 'from Nice".
Like other famous dishes, there's lots of different ways out there to make this salad; and as usual, the way that you make it, is better than the way your neighbour makes it.
I reckon that the classic Salad Nicoise has the following ingredients: lettuce, tinned tuna fish, cooked green beans, black olives, tomatoes, baby new potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, and just possibly capers. The whole shooting match is then tossed in a garlicky French dressing. I make sure that the beans are crunchy, and slightly undercooked, and the so-called "hard" boiled eggs have a soft yellow yolk.
I'm currently rather keen on a rather nifty new way of serving this dish. Instead of mixing it all together in a salad bowl, try arranging the ingredients separately on a long white serving plate (the sort of plate you would serve a salmon on). You can then either dress the thing with the viniagrette, or as I do, place a dollop of mayonnaise at the end of the dish. An aioli (ie garlic mayonnaise) would work beautifully here.
This method looks stunning visually, and picky guests (lots of them around these days, I'm afraid) have the choice of avoiding the anchovies or the capers, or anything else they don't like the look of. Good idea, what?