We were supposed to make Nicoise Salad. But, as I was preparing to write the recipe, I did a little background research on the history of the dish and discovered that what exactly go into a Nicoise Salad is as confusing as it is controversial.
Nicoise Salad originated in Nice in the south of France. The original ingredients were tomatoes, anchovies and olives. The dressing was plain olive oil. So, tart tomatoes, salty anchovies and briny olives. With the flavors of the ingredients and they way they complement one another, it’s easy enough to understand why plain olive oil is quite enough to bring them all together.
The problem is that since Nicoise Salad first caught the attention of the public, it has mutated into so many ways. Purists say all ingredients must be raw. Modernists say otherwise. Anchovies or tuna? If tuna is used, should it fresh or is canned okay too? Are tomatoes a must? What about olives? Is it okay to include leafy vegetables?
There are so many versions of Nicoise Salad that I didn’t know anymore what it was. I just decided to give this salad a name that is descriptive of its ingredients. Period.
Tuna, Egg and Potato Salad
- 500 grams potatoes
- 2 eggs
- 1 big bunch lettuce
- 1 onion
- 1 can tuna in brine
- Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges.
- Cook the potatoes (boil, bake, grill or fry). Set aside.
- While the potatoes cook, hard boil the eggs.
- Rinse the lettuce and tear into bite-size pieces. Dry in a salad spinner. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and thinly slice.
- Drain the tuna.
- Make the salad dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.
- Peel the eggs and cut into wedges.
- Using two forks, break up any large chunks of tuna.
- In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients.
- Drizzle in salad dressing and toss again.
- Serve the salad while the potatoes wedges are still warm.