Our weather has been a roller-coaster here in central Texas. After record-breaking non-stop heat, I believe we had 45 consecutive days of triple-digits, now we are in our normal fall pattern of hot-cold-hot.
One day it’s in the 60’s, the next it’s in 90’s. Two days ago I wore a sweatshirt, jeans and boots… this afternoon, I’m going over to the pool. We have a saying here, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute… it’ll change!”
We’ve passed the mid-way point of October, and although I couldn’t wait for the heat to end, (I was beginning to doubt that it would) now that I know with certainty that it will, I am savoring these last few days of summer.
It was too hot to cook one night, so I kept it simple by preparing a hearty Salade Nicoise. (In case you haven’t head of it before, it is pronounced “ni – swaz,” meaning in the style of Nice.) I knew it was a town in France, but what I didn’t know was that it’s on The Riviera; famous for it’s perfect sunny climate, spectacular views, aqua water, and stunning beaches. Think Cannes! Monaco! Bond!
This salad makes perfect sense coming from a place where food is made from what is locally and seasonally available at their markets.
I first had it years ago prepared with seared tuna atop crispy Romaine lettuce and veggies. I thought that was how it was supposed to be served.
After delving into it’s gastronomic history, I found out that ain’t necessarily so.
At it’s simplest and most traditional – it’s lettuce, green beans, beautiful black olives, capers, fresh anchovies and a dressing of virgin olive oil, vinegar, and fresh garlic, basil, salt & pepper. It usually accompanies fish or chicken. Just a salad.
Workers made it into a hearty lunch by adding boiled potatoes and a soft hard-boiled egg or two.
I sear either Ahi or Yellowtail tuna outdoors on the grill. Indoors, I do it with the vent-fan on in a very hot skillet, and it has “pride of place” on top of my salad. You can also use tinned tuna from Italy – it’s very different from ours. Otherwise, just use good albacore tuna from your grocery store.
You needn’t get too hung-up on ingredients, use what fresh ingredients you have on hand and enjoy it!
Sometimes I will eat the potatoes, sometimes I choose not to – staying true to my Primal Lifestyle diet, which has really helped reduce auto-immune disorder aches and pains.
I have yet to add anchovies, but may buy some jarred ones and after rinsing and patting-dry, give them a try. Do you have a favorite meaty, not-too-salty, brand I can try?
Here is my favorite dressing, a simple vinaigrette from Martha Stewart:
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBL fresh lemon juice
3 TBLS wine vinegar
2TBLS Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TBL fresh chopped basil
1 TBL fresh chopped parsley or dill
Whisk it all together. Let me know your thoughts, send in photos with a comment – I’d totally love that! And let’s enjoy these last few days of summer together, over a meal.