Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Thoughts on Salade Niçoise

    Does your mind drift off when you're in the kitchen? Mine does. Usually what goes through my head has something to do with what I'm making. So, a few thoughts that came up recently while I was putting together a salade Niçoise.
    1. None of us eats enough parsley. I say this because, now that the plants in the potager have run to seed, I have to buy bunches at the market--and rarely do I use up the whole bunch before it turns yellow. Chopped parsley (you know the trick: leaves stripped into a coffee mug, a bit of fast work with scissors) enhances just about any savoury dish. This was the first time I'd strewn it over salade Niçoise but it won't be the last.
    2. This salad is a doddle once you've made it a few times and know to put the chunked potatoes into cold water first. Once they come to the boil, stick the timer on for ten minutes and add one egg per person. A few minutes later, throw in the haricots verts if you're using them. Everything's ready at once.
    3. How annoyed I get at cookbook writers who list "best quality olive oil" when they simply mean "olive oil." By now, we all know that cheap olive oil isn't worth the price. Anyone who cooks buys the best their budget will stretch to--and if their budget won't stretch that far, they don't need reminding of that.
    4. And while on the topic, references to "fresh-ground black pepper" and "sea salt" are also starting to make me cross.
    5. Smile back on my face. Black olives and scarlet tomatoes are a stunning colour combination. Ditto black olives and lemons. And, if either of those doesn't transform a pork chop or fish fillet into a photo op, there's always chopped parsley.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there A&P, just finished reading your summer blogs and enjoyed every moment and what visuals to accompany the lusious narrative.

It's a wet and dull Sunday here is Belfast and I see from the forecast that the weather in Léran has been fantastic for September. Time I made my entrance again.

My email has changed to

best wishes and hope to be back in France soon.