(La salade niçoise) - La salada nissarda

15 minutes
No cooking necessary

Ingredients for 6 people :

5 Excellent tomatoes
1/2 fresh onion OR 3 spring onions.
150 grams of fresh broad beans
3 Violet Artichokes.
1 tin of tuna of 120 grams
1 little sweet green pepper.
A handful of the black olives of Nice
3 desalted anchovies (6 filets).
3 hard-boiled eggs a branch of basil.
Salt and pepper 1 cucumber.
Olive oil and wine vinegar.

This one is not found very often in the old cooking books... because it was so natural to eat fresh vegetables with olive oil.
A real salade niçoise is a great treat both for the eyes and for the taste. It never includes cooked vegetables (eg green beans or potatoes), nor rice.
It is inconceivable without sun-ripened tomatoes (the Saint-Pierre variety) and the use of virgin olive oil of absolute top quality. One can make it without necessarily including all the vegetables cited below, depending upon the season. It is better to use good quality vegetables in lesser quantities, than vegetables that have been force- grown in glasshouses or expensive foreign imports.

Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 cm slices. Salt them and leave them in a hollow dish so that they may release a little of their liquid. Peel the cucumber and cut it into slices 3 to 4 mm thick. Cut the fresh onions into 5mm rings. Peel the broad beans. Trim the artichokes : remove the outer leaves and the tip; remove the “beard” which surrounds the heart. Cut the pepper into 5mm slices.
In a large open dish place carefully the tomatoes and all the other vegetables, ending with the broad beans,
the olives and the hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters.
Lightly salt. Cover the lot with finely cut basil.
Now prepare the vinaigrette. Note that, just as a good musician can be recognised by his own style of playing scales, a successful vinaigrette is the sign of a competent cook !
Start by dissolving in a bowl 3 pinches of fine salt in 2 soup-spoons of good wine vinegar by beating with a fork, as for an omelette. Add slowly the olive oil while continuing to beat the mixture.The drops of vinegar remaining in suspension must be of very small size. and this mixture is held until the last last minute before serving.
Soup by the fireside or under the awnings...
Believe the word of a Niçois, nothing can equal a good soup to start off an evening between friends!
Soups lend themselves to every occasion and every season.
Fish soup all year long and mussel soup with saffron will open up your appetite in winter before a main fish course.
A soup of young fresh vegetables to celebrate the arrival of Spring becomes transformed into the magnificent “soupe au pistou” in Summer.
Milk soup by the fireside when in the mountains and finally, sage soup to recover from the excesses of Christmas.
Six simple but delightful ways in which to use the products of the sea and the land all the year round.

I will make a fish soup with fennel, laurel and rascasse* and a pinch of saffron so that it smells good you will have it smeared all over your face and the tang of the sea will fill the house
Henri Bosco, Eglogues de la Mer (Sea poems)

*Sea scorpion, a fish found only in the Mediterranean.


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