Any French brasserie worth the ink on their menu or chalk on their board will include an entrée dish named Salade Niçoise. Originating in the Provence city of Nice, the niçoise salad combines many tastes of the Mediterranean to create this meal-worthy mélange.
At Brasserie L’Oustau, Chef quickly sears a fresh thick tuna steak and places it sliced on a base of lettuce, brine-cured black olives, fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, haricots vert, boiled egg, capers, anchovy and fresh herbs all drizzled with his signature vinaigrette of aged wine vinegar and oil.
Salade Niçoise was popularized in America in the nineteen sixties by the celebrity cook Julia Child. Salads of that time for the most part had been simple greens sometimes daring to add a slice of avocado, but you might also have found one of the popular salads that had been formed in a gelatin mold. Julia introduced an entire country to the idea that a salad can be more than a side dish (or dessert). In fact, Americans learned that a salad can be really quite good.
Restaurants in the US sometimes include the Salade Niçoise but you will most often find the entrée salads are Grilled Chicken Caesar, Cobb or the old stand-by Chef’s Salad. None of these other salads encompass the tastes and essence of a region’s harvest the way the Salade Niçoise does Provence.