So much more than a mere salad! A colourful triumph of seasonal ingredients and store-cupboard staples, the salad Nicoise is magnifique.
For the vinaigrette:
With a pestle and mortar, crush the flakes of sea salt to a powder, then add the peeled clove of garlic and pound them together, to a smooth paste.
Next add the mustard powder, work that in, then add the vinegar and some freshly milled black pepper and mix thoroughly until the salt dissolves.
Finally, add the olive oil. Now stir the chives into the vinaigrette. Just before you dress the salad, pour everything into a screw-top jar and shake vigorously so it's thoroughly blended.
In a large salad bowl, arrange the tomatoes, watercress, cucumber, potatoes, beans and chopped shallots in layers, sprinkling a little of the dressing in as you go.
Next arrange chunks of tuna and egg quarters on top.
Then arrange the anchovies in a criss-cross pattern, followed by a scattering of olives, the chopped parsley and a final sprinkling of dressing.
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