I used to call this Niçoise Pasta Salad but as no self-respecting Niçois would break so far from tradition I decided to change the name.
A proper Salade Niçoise would have the small, black Niçoise olives and be served on a bed of lettuce.
While there may be arguments as to whether the green beans are cooked or raw, anchovies added or not, potatoes used or not, I doubt that pasta will ever be considered.
There won’t be an argument over the tuna – other than which is the best canned tuna.
Salade Niçoise always uses canned, never fresh.
Pasta Salad, Niçoise Style
Total time: 30 minutes
- 6oz (180gr) green beans, trimmed, cut in half
- 1/2 cup (3oz, 90gr) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced
- 9oz (270gr) canned tuna, drained, broken into chunks
- 2 eggs, hard cooked, quartered
- 1/2 cup black or green olives, (or both) pitted and halved
- 2 tbs fresh chives, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups (4.2oz, 125gr) pasta – bite-size, penne, fusilli
- 4 anchovy fillets optional
- 1/4 cup salad olive oil
- 2 tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
- 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped
- 2 tbs chives, chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Fill a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add beans and blanch for 3 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Whisk vinegar, mustard and lemon juice.
- Slowly add oil, whisking until it emulsifies.
- Add tarragon, chives, stir and put into a large salad bowl.
- Add beans to vinaigrette.
- Add tomatoes,pepper strips, chives, olives and tuna to vinaigrette. Stir gently.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and add to mix in salad bowl.
- Toss lightly to combine.
- Quarter eggs and arrange on top.
- Garnish with anchovies, if desired, and serve.
Last year I had a taupe (mole) in my herb garden. For about 3 weeks in early summer it tunneled under my basil, ruining my chances for a decent Caprese Salad or for fresh pesto. In desperation I planted basil seeds in two window boxes with the hope that I might have some decent size plants by early fall.
They never grew…..
It was the most bizarre thing – the seeds sprouted in a timely fashion, developed their first pair of true leaves in a timely fashion and then stopped.
They didn’t grow and they didn’t die.
They were green, alive and a half inch tall for two months. They never got more leaves and the leaves they had never grew.
Why am I telling you a tale of last summer’s woes you ask?
Because it happened to our farmer neighbor this year….. The one that dug our new pond.
He planted sunflowers in the field. Where he put all the dirt from the pond, leveling out the field, nothing is growing.
In the old parts of the field the sunflowers are doing fine, but where the dirt from the pond is the sunflowers came up on schedule, grew to about 3 inches, just like the rest of the field, then stopped. In spots they might have attained a height of oh, say, 5 inches…. but it’s been almost 3 months now.
I am clueless….. I assume the farmer knows more.
On the other hand – here are the blooming sunflowers from the rest of the field:
From our balcony I counted 8 sunflower fields. The wheat has all been harvested.
There was very little corn planted in our area this year.
That’s okay…. sunflowers are prettier.