Thinly shaved local baby artichokes add refreshing crunch to the classic niçoise salad at La Bastide de Gordes in Provence, France.
Slideshow: More Main-Course Salads
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 dozen quail eggs or 4 large eggs
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
4 baby artichokes
4 ounces mixed baby greens (8 cups)
4 tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), cut into wedges
3 bell peppers, preferably a mix of colors, thinly sliced
Two 7-ounce cans good-quality tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked
12 salted anchovy fillets, bones discarded, rinsed and patted dry
12 niçoise olives
Chopped basil, for garnish
How to Make It
In a small bowl, gradually whisk the olive oil into the vinegar until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium saucepan, cover the quail eggs with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. (If using large eggs, let stand off the heat for 10 minutes.) Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and let cool completely. Peel and halve them.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to another ice bath to cool.
Squeeze the lemon half into a bowl of cold water. Snap off the outer leaves of 1 artichoke. Using a sharp knife, cut off its top half and trim the base and stem. Using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop out the furry choke. Add the artichoke to the lemon water. Repeat with the remaining artichokes. Very thinly slice the artichokes and return them to the lemon water.
Arrange the baby greens on a platter. Drain the artichokes and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the artichokes, tomatoes, bell peppers, tuna, anchovies, olives, eggs and green beans on the greens in rows; alternatively, gently mix the salad. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and garnish with basil. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Minerally Côtes de Provence rosé.
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