Comme Çi Comme Ça Salade Niçoise

2 Apr

To celebrate my French classmates and to practice the French we learn at l’Alliance Française, I decided to host a French dinner  get-together – French food while speaking only in French…  Parlez-vous français, anyone???  Hey, one of my friends even showed up with her books to look up any word she might forget…  she’s hilarious.I decided to try a few adaptations from the cooking book and TV special that inspired me to take-up French again – Barefoot in Paris from Ina Garten.  I decided my menu would be Comme Çi Comme Ça Salade Niçoise and Croque Monsieur sandwiches.

Comme Çi Comme Ça means in English “more or less” or “so so” – this salad is a karma-free version of the original, which typically includes tuna and eggs.  The sandwich is also an adaptation, using a soy-protein smoked ham in place of the traditional real ham.  I must say that none of my guests were vegetarian and they could not believe the deliciousness of the dinner.

I’m telling you… They were both magnifique!!! 

 salade-nicoise.jpg

COMME ÇI COMME ÇA SALADE NIçOISE

This salad is a composed salad with lots of ingredients.  It might seem like a lot, but if you take it little by little it will not seem as daunting as the ingredients list might suggest.  Please believe me, it’s simple.

1 recipe for French Potato Salad, recipe follows
Roasted button mushrooms, recipe follows
Marinated roasted red bell peppers, recipe follows
Sautéed green beans, recipe follows
1 head of Romaine lettuce
2 handfuls of grape tomatoes
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thin
½ English cucumber, sliced thin
2 radishes, washed and sliced thin
Handful of olives – niçoise are best, but I also used lemon-stuffed manzanillas
Nicoise Vinnaigrette Dressing, recipe follows
  1. Arrange the lettuce, potato salad, sautéed green beans, roasted mushrooms, marinated bell peppers, grape tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, radishes and olives on a large flat platter.

For the French Potato Salad:

10 baby red-skinned potatoes, washed and quartered
4 tbs vegetable stock
3 tbs white wine vinegar
½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds of freshly ground pepper
10 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk of green onion, sliced at an angle
4-5 leaves of basil, julienned
  1. Boil the potatoes in a medium pot in salted water.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until they are just cooked through.
  2. While the potatoes boil, prepare the dressing in a medium sized bowl that can accommodate the potatoes comfortably.  Whisk together the vegetable stock, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper.  While whisking, add the olive oil to create an emulsion. 
  3. Drain the potatoes well and add to the bowl with the dressing.  Add the chopped green onion and basil.  Toss well to combine.  Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and let all the dressing to be soaked into the potatoes.
  4. Set aside until you get ready the rest of the salad ingredients.

Marinated Roasted Peppers

4-5 jarred roasted Piquillo peppers
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs capers
¼ tsp grated garlic
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and let the peppers marinate while the rest of the salad ingredients are ready.

Sautéed Green beans

½ bag of frozen green beans – I really prefer fresh, but I found non at the market so this is a cool substitute
1 shallot sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
A dash of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil.  Pour in the frozen green beans and cook for about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the shallot and the garlic lightly.  Add the drain green beans and sauté with the shallots and garlic.  Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Roasted Button Mushrooms

1 pint of white button mushrooms, cleaned with a damp paper towel
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the mushrooms in half.  Place in a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat.
  3. Roast in oven (I do this in my toaster oven) for about 20 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and golden brown.

Niçoise Vinaigrette Dressing

1 tbs white wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, cut in big pieces
4 olives, pitted
1 tsp capers
A squirt of Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender.
  2. With blender running, slowly add oil until completely incorporated and emulsified.
  3. Serve in a dressing pitcher on the side of the salad.

salade-nicoise-2.jpg

This salad was so delicious, that my friend’s husband could not stop eating it.  This whole platter served only 4 people.  Accompanied by the Croque Monsieur sandwiches and my friend’s Aniette’s Bull… this was a complete meal.

Bon Appétit!!!

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9 Responses to “Comme Çi Comme Ça Salade Niçoise”

  1. Charlotte at simply divine love April 4, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    What a great idea for simple spring dinner! Beautful. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Alice (in Veganland) April 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    It looks like a lot of work, but the result is gorgeous! And if it was to share, it is actually not THAT much work, is it?
    Great recipe!

  3. tricia April 5, 2008 at 2:18 am #

    i’ve always been tempted to do one of these, but i have to admit i’m intimidated. even after you said that it’s easy, i’m still wary. but it looks sooooo good. those mushrooms make my mouth water.

  4. michelle April 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    Thanks so much for the recipe. I made it for my brother and sister this weekend when they came over. Fun FUn. It was delicious and a huge hit. My brother said it was the best salad he ever had and had three huge bowls (he may have had another bowl but there wasn’t any left–ha ha) He couldn’t get enough. It was great.

    the recipe looks intimidating, but wasn’t really that much work once i started to put it together. I had all the salad dressing ingredients on hand and i just need to get the salad ingredients. Just wanted you to know it got rave reviews.

    Tricia, the mushrooms were my favorite part of the salad. They were really good.

  5. karmafreecooking April 8, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    @ michelle – I am soooooo glad you tried it and liked it. It’s a bit of preparation of the individual components and then the assembly part. I am so glad there is proof that it’s not that daunting. And you can actually prepare several things at the same time – like boil the potatoes while your prepare the dressing and cut several of the vegetables… the key – to have a big enough platter. Congrats!!!!

  6. Malar Gandhi April 30, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Dear,

    You blog just rocks!!! I like this veggie platter….very tempting!

    Have a happy cooking day.

    Malar Gandhi

  7. jd May 8, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    This is really quite lovely!

    *drool*

  8. adam December 10, 2008 at 8:30 am #

    j’adore ce type de slade et vraiment c’est bien bravo coll

  9. Lady Amalthea January 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Delicieux! I didn’t use tuna or eggs in my version either. I love your idea of adding in Potato Salad as well; I must keep that in mind for next time!

    http://noshesthoughtsreves.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-new-year-and-tofu-nicoise-salad.html

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