It is summer-glut time and this year it is beans, beans and more beans. I didn’t have many last year but, this year, it is beans galore and they all seem to have come at once. Off to Eat Your Books I went and typed “beans”! I wanted either a pasta dish or a salad. I found quite a few recipes worth trying, including this one. It was a real jackpot. It is dead easy to make, a meal in itself and very tasty. We have already had it twice this summer.
It is, essentially, what is referred to as à la Niçoise, that is, a dish based on the cuisine originating from the south of France and, in particular, in and around the city of Nice. It is not, actually, a Niçoise salad as that contains tomatoes, black olives, anchovies, green beans, onions, tuna, hard-cooked eggs, garlic and herbs. This little gem omits a few of the essential ingredients for a Niçoise salad.
The recipe is from The French Kitchen by Joanne Harris & Fran Warde. I have mentioned this book before. It is a great book and we have made many recipes from it.
The quantities, supposedly, serve 6 but, if serving it as a main for dinner, which is what we do, then it will serve three or two with enough left over for lunch. If served with plenty of crusty bread, it could stretch to 4 but certainly not 6.
- 500g small new potatoes
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- olive oil, for coating
- 200g green beans, topped and tailed
- 200g tuna in olive oil, drained (I use a 185g tin and it’s plenty)
- 4 anchovies, cut lengthways into thin strips (if you are not big on anchovies, you could easily reduce this to 2)
- basil, to scatter over the top
For the dressing:
- 2 shallots, finely diced ( I have replaced the shallots with a couple of spring onions and, the other time, ½ a small red onion)
- 3 tbs* white wine vinegar
- 2tbs* grainy mustard
- salt & coarsely ground black pepper
- 7tbs* extra virgin olive oil
*These are 15 mil tablespoons.
- Cook the potatoes then set aside.
- Cook the beans until tender then set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Toss the cherry tomatoes in the oil and roast them in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well blended.
- Put the potatoes, beans and tomatoes into a salad bowl.
- Flake the tuna and add to the salad bowl, along with the anchovies.
- Pour the dressing over and toss to coat.
- Tear up the basil, scatter it over the salad and serve at once.