The most indulgent part about being done school and thrust into the working world is that I always come home at a reliable time. Which means I can cook dinner once more. The absense of this ritual this past school year was excruciating — how I hated scurrying over to the Dominion supermarket across the street from the computer lab to buy premade, too-sticky sushi and soup with the consistency of toddler snot. Ugh.
I feel infinitely less cranky, less stagnant, now that I have time in the kitchen to myself to make a proper meal. The kind made with real ingredients, the stuff that existed 100 years ago before food processing, and will exist 100 years from now. And now that it’s summer, I have a burning desire to eat local as often as I can — an ambition made easier now that I can avail myself of the farmer’s market that sets up shop every Wednesday morning at Nathan Phillips’ Square (in my backyard). So, I can eat well again. And it is glorious. To celebrate that, I made a Niçoise salad, a traditional French dish and perhaps the perfect summer dinner, one-pot and all that.
- One cob of corn, steamed and cut into kernels
- 5 or 6 baby red potatoes, skins on and still firmish
- French green beans, blanched
- Tomatoes (I like heirloom types, miniature plums, etc. Anything but grape tomatoes — they’re too sweet. If you can, avoid cutting them because it will make the whole dish wet)
- Asparagus spears, blanched (Okay, these aren’t in a traditional Niçoise, but I love them and I have a whole bunch in the fridge.)
- Hard-boiled egg, halved
- Handful of black olives
- Anchovies optional
- Fresh tarragon
- Fresh chives
- (Actually now that I think about, just throw in all the fines herbes)
- 1 large clove of garlic, smashed and minced
- Handful of finely chopped onions
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
The potatoes should still be warm when you serve it. Toss everything into a bowl. Oh, and no lettuce or cheese. Just, no.
I am not of the fish-eating variety, but if you’d like, sear a tuna steak and throw it on top. There is some debate as to whether they are supposed to come with meat anyway, but I imagine this is very good.
Not only is this actually filling, but seriously how glad am I to eat a salad that doesn’t have spring mix or some citrusy-sweet-basil-suck dressing on it.