Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Nice Nicoise

I've been whining so heartily about the garden recently that I'm embarrassed when we sit down to a lovely and delicious meal from its harvest each night. As a reality check, here is a photo of the Salade Nicoise we had on Thursday night.

According to, Nicoise refers to cooking "in the style of Nice," and includes as key ingredients olives, garlic, tomatoes and anchovies. A Salad Nicoise, they inform us, also includes hard-boiled eggs, tuna, green beans, onions and herbs. Patricia Wells, in her great cookbook Salad as a Meal, lists as her key ingredients: fresh tuna, green beans, steamed potatoes, tomatoes, greens and "a soft touch of anchovy." She also dresses it with a light dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and chives.

I had been looking for something to make with the can of smoked salmon I brought back from our vacation in Seattle. Also, I wanted a way to unveil the fingerling potatoes I just dug up. So I decided to put the salmon with the other fresh, farm veggies in a version of this salad. Above is a view of a perfect summer dinner: steamed potatoes, green beans from the Farmer's Market, cherry tomatoes, canned smoked salmon, a little steamed chard (no salad greens at this time of year), fresh eggs from our farm, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil with fresh thyme and chives.

The potatoes are one of the great triumphs of this summer, along with beets and radishes. While my traditional crops are refusing to yield, the first-time crops did great. I was a little chagrined about how much money I spent on the seed potatoes from Seed Savers for these fingerlings-- $14.00 plus s/h for potatoes?? But who could resist the description on the card for "La Ratte" potatoes. A beautiful, firm-fleshed fingerling sought after by chefs and prized for their flavor.  I planted two rows, one in the ground and one in a raised bed, and sprayed them only twice to get rid of the Colorado Potato Beetle. I've now dug up the first half of the crop, and they are as promised, delicious and beautiful. And Steve is happy you don't have to peel them!


Mr. Cantor said...

Looks so wonderful. I love a nice Nicoise and I'm so impressed by your garden. Ours is small, but it is so satisfying to eat veggies that are minutes fresh and grown only yards away from the kitchen.

Susan Sink said...

Thanks, Phil! This has not been the best year for my garden, and I'm too much of a perfectionist, really, but it is great fun and I love the foooood!