3.19.2012

Nicoise Salad


I am going to teach you how to properly hard boil an egg.

Are you ready for this… it’s probably going to change your life.

A perfectly hardboiled egg will have a fluffy and creamy yolk that is not tarnished with that greenish grey ring around it. Have you ever wondered what causes that weird ring around the yolk? Well, it is a natural reaction of sulfur from the yolk meeting iron from the white part of the egg and is usually caused by boiling the eggs too long. There is nothing wrong with the egg at all its just not very pretty.

Remember that just because you have removed the pot from the heat doesn’t mean that it is not still hot enough to cook the eggs. This way of hard boiling eggs protects against overcooking them.

1. Put the eggs in a pot.
2. Cover the eggs with cool water.
3. Add a splash of vinegar.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Remove from heat and cover.
6. Leave them alone in their little bath for five minutes.
(Add another minute or two for additional eggs.)
7. Take the eggs out of the hot water and run under cold water.
8. Let them cool for about ten minutes.
9. Tap the egg until you find a little hollow space and hit that part on a hard flat surface to crack.
10. Peel.

Another interesting fact about hard boiled eggs is that the fresher they are the harder they are to peel, it is practically impossible to peel an egg the same day it was laid. My family has a little game we play around Easter time, or whenever there are hard boiled eggs around. Where you try and knock someone’s egg and see whose egg cracks first. My Uncle Fouad always wins; every single time, a little suspicious, right?

So now that you’ve got hard boiled eggs down. Let’s use them to make something fancy like this Nicoise Salad.

Nicoise is French for “from Nice” which is a beautiful city in the south, where on a warm sticky day the air is sultry with lavender and salty seawater. There are many variations of Nicoise Salad and mine is a combination traditional recipes, feel free to put your own twist on this recipe, but keep in mind that these ingredients are what it takes to make it a Nicoise. I recommend adding, but not taking away if you still want it to be Nicoise.


Lots of Veggies…
Crispy crunchy cooked just barely, tender and slightly sweet green beans
Tiny potatoes roasted with olive oil and herbs give this salad some body
Sweet red pepper sliced to mimic the shape of a green bean
Petite green peas
Refreshing cucumbers
Artichoke hearts, because we’re fancy, uh huh
Plump tomatoes quartered with salt and pepper
Smooth, melt in your mouth butter lettuce
Capers, teeny little drops of the sea
Pungent teeny black olives, Nicoise if you are lucky
Tined tuna and anchovies from brightly colored cans

Tossed with dressing made of …
3 Parts Olive Oil
1 Part Cider Vinegar
Shallot
Garlic
Basil
Tarragon
Parsley

Can I move to Nice!? Or Brittany? Or somewhere romantic like that. Where I can spend my days lazing through open air markets, eating honey and brie on baguettes and hassling the food vendors for the best ingredients to make your dinner with? Pretty please? Maybe I’ll run an agritourismo and you can visit or move in. whatever. They have this amazing style of hospitality is Europe, which is kind of like a bed and breakfast, but it is on some kind of farm or food producing place where you can go and stay and learn their techniques. How much would you LOVE going to the countryside and staying at a goat farm and learning how to make goat cheese and eat delicious food in the open air and hang out with baby goats?

Ummm…. TOO much, that’s how much.

I watched an Anthony Bourdain special once where he was in Brittany and everyone he spoke with on the show was so enthusiastic, the oyster farmers were just in love with the idea of oyster farming and at the restaurants, candy shops and flower stands it was all the same. They’re about it. There was a man who sold tined fish, he had this super fancy jar made especially his “standing sardines” so that he could squeeze more in and they could marinate thoroughly and easily. I love it when I meet people that are super passionate about something, I love hearing them talk, about whatever it is, just seeing that look on their face, their eyes light up, they can’t get enough of whatever it is. You herd sheep? Awesome, I’m all ears, tell me all about it! Make bricks? Keep bees? Play chess? Blow glass? That too… just keep talking…

I hope you have something in your life that you are passionate about, and if you don’t, that you find it, don’t rule anything out until you try it. You might end up loving something you never thought you would.

1 comment:

  1. this looks amazing. i want to come over and try it. and its a salad. and i dont say that about salads often. ps this is adam.

    ReplyDelete