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salade niçoise

France’s most famous salad

French: Salade nicoise

It’s as colourful as it is good, and its precise ingredients are endlessly debated. Jacques Médecin, one time mayor of Nice (who got in very hot water and ended up in Uruguay) is most kindly remembered for his recipe in his Niçoise cookbook published in 1983.

Most versions include tomatoes (salted onceor twice, according to Médicin, to remove any excess water), hard-boiled eggs, onions, black pitted Niçoise olives, a green pepper, fresh baby broad beans (fevettes), baby artichoke hearts that have been rubbed with lemon, cucumbers (according to some schools) and anchovies or tuna, basil leaves, garlic and olive oil.

Many include boiled potatoes and green beans (the great chef Escoffier who grew up near Nice, did) although ‘purists’ say only fresh raw ingredients (fresh young green beans if you have them) should be allowed.

If you’re having a party, you can please all comers by keeping all the ingredients separate and letting guests construct their own version.

Also called salada nissarda.

Classic dishes

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Katrin Gilger