Salade Niçoise – Julia Child
Here we are in the fourth week of JC100, the celebration leading up to what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. After week two, I keep hoping for more chocolate. And maybe I’ll be happily surprised in the coming weeks. Only time will tell!
This week we were given salad niçoise to make. It’s a mixed salad traditionally made with a bed of lettuce, topped off with flaked tuna and anchovies. Hard boiled eggs, green beans and tomatoes round out the bunch. Julia’s recipe called for potatoes and olives as well.
Now you know how I feel about tomatoes. Loathe. But, for the sake of the recipe I added them in. Notice how I kept them whole, so to not disturb the rest of my salad. If you love tomatoes, you’re welcome to my leftovers.
I couldn’t help myself with this one… I don’t like fish. *Gasp* Another thing I’m likely to be flamed for. It’s a texture thing. Plus, fish on a salad just feels wrong to me and since the only fish I eat is tuna from a can or shrimp in my wontons, clearly it wasn’t about to happen on my poor salad. No way. So I added chicken. I like chicken. It seemed like a perfectly acceptable alteration in my eyes. Of course Julia may have thought otherwise.
Then I went a step further…
Last week’s recipe called for bacon. I had plenty leftover so I figured it was meant to be. Hopefully Julia wouldn’t have minded this one bit… but I tossed the tomatoes. And sprinkled with a generous helping of crispy fried bacon. Oh yeah. All is right in the world again.
Now to find a brownie…
Yield: Serves 2-3
2 small chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded or cut down to an even thickness
1/2C chicken broth
1/4C thick cut bacon, chopped
8-10 small red potatoes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp whole peppercorn
1 tbsp butter, melted
10-12 whole green beans
In a small skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Add to the small skillet. Cook over medium heat, 4-5 minutes per side or until almost cooked through. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.
Add eggs to a small saucepan. Cover with cold water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Remove from heat, let sit for 1 minute uncovered and 12-14 minutes covered. Rinse under cold water. Carefully peel, quarter and set aside.
To a small saucepan, add potatoes, smashed garlic and peppercorns. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. Cut in half. Toss in melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
Using the same small saucepan as used for your eggs, bring water to a boil. Toss in green beans. Boil for 3 minutes. Rinse under cold water and transfer to an ice bath.
Using one large platter or two individual plates, add several pieces of Boston lettuce to the center. Lightly drizzle with dressing and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Top off with thinly sliced chicken (or flaked tuna if you prefer).
Arrange green beans to one side. Place the tomatoes, halved potatoes and quartered eggs around the edge of your plate or platter. Sprinkle with bacon. Drizzle with additional dressing if desired.
**Please note that the potatoes, eggs and chicken can all cook at the same time if you have enough pans.
Adapted from: The Way to Cook by Julia Child