Sometimes when food shopping most of the elements of a great recipe just happen to appear before you. In this case, picked this morning french beans, bright green little gem lettuce and fresh from underneath the hen free range eggs. A salad Nicoise is asking to be made. There is no fresh tuna, which I would normally use, but lovely big prawns will do nicely for the fish element. Southern Spain is the land of the tomato, so super tasty tomatoes are always plentiful.
I prefer poached eggs to boiled, I like warm yolks to dribble over the salad, and a vinaigrette dressing to mayonnaise, so here is my version of Salade Nicoise.
1 or 2 tomatoes – chopped
French beans – top and tail them and cut them into about 3cm lengths, then blanch them in boiling water for two or three minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
1 tablespoon corn kernels
1 clove of garlic – chopped
7 large prawns – peeled
2 large free range eggs
For the dressing
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine/cider vinegar
pinch of sugar
Firstly mix all the dressing ingredients together thoroughly. You can put them all in a little jar and give it a good shake. Put to one side while you assemble the salad.
Lay the lettuce leaves on a dinner plate to make a bed for the rest of the ingredients. Strew over the tomatoes, beans and corn.
Heat water in a small pan for poaching the eggs.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan and add the chopped garlic, fry for a minute then add the prawns. Fry gently until just cooked through. Add to the salad with the cooking juices and garlic.
Poach the eggs, drain and lay on the salad.
Spoon over the dressing, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with fresh crunchy bread.