In her book French Provincial Cooking, Elizabeth David says a Niçoise salad's ingredients may vary with the seasons, but egg, anchovies, tomatoes, black olives and dressing with a hint of garlic are a must. Henri Heyraud wrote in La Cuisine à Nice that the true Niçoise should contain quartered artichoke hearts, raw peppers and tomatoes, black olives and anchovy fillets. This recipe has both schools of thought covered.
- 8 young globe artichokes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 soft-boiled eggs
- 200 gm baby green beans, trimmed
- 55 gm Niçoise olives, pitted (see note) (1/2 cup)
- 2 Kumato or black heirloom tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup torn basil
- 6 anchovy fillets, torn
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, or to taste
- 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1Trim artichoke stalks to 2cm, snap off tough outer leaves until you reach the pale inner leaves. Using a small, sharp knife, trim bases by cutting down the length of the stem to remove the outside of the stalk. Trim 2cm from the top of each artichoke and halve lengthways, then immediately rub cut surfaces with lemon. Using a teaspoon, scoop out fibrous chokes. Place artichokes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, add olive oil, return to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until artichokes are just tender (10-12 minutes). Drain, cool and refrigerate until required.
- 2Blanch beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water (2 minutes), drain and refresh. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients, add artichokes, season to taste, toss to combine and top with halved eggs. Serve with hunks of baguette.
Small black Niçoise olives are available from select delicatessens. Drink suggestion by Max Allen