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Tag: salad

Mint and tuna salad

What’s a summer cook to do? With temperatures reaching more than thirty-eight degrees, I hardly want to switch anything on, especially the oven. We have been alternating between the pool, the Atlantic beaches (Médoc is a peninsula with eighty kilometers of beautiful beaches), trips to Cap-Ferret and some brave city slicking in Bordeaux where the heat has been literaly sizzling. Frankly, my favourite time has been spent on our ‘secret’ beach next to our home – the ocean breeze combined with the scent of pine trees and blackberry bushes make my summer.

At home, salads are served as a meal (little joke destined to Brasserie Lipp in Paris where there is a caption on their menu saying ‘no salad served as a meal’!). I can’t imagine eating anything else – it’s got to be light, fresh and tasty in these hot summer days.

Today, I jumped out of the pool before everybody and quickly made this delightful tuna, egg, haricots verts (green beans) and mint salad, dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s such a fulfilling and cooling dish thanks to the panaché of minty flavours. A summer must.

Ingredients (serve 4):

5 eggs (hard-boiled)
3 handfuls of haricots verts/ French green beans
A large handful of chopped mint
2 cans good-quality tuna fish
3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
A dash of celery salt
A dash of pepper

Place eggs in a pot and pour enough water over the eggs to cover. Cover with a lid and boil for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of cold water and let the eggs cool completely. Peel eggs and chop finely and set aside. Cut the tips off the green beans on both ends, rinse well and cook for 8-10 minutes in salted boiling water. Drain and set aside to cool. Chop to 1 cm. Set aside. Prepare vinaigrette – mix olive oil, celery salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar . You can add more or less balsamic vinegar to your liking. Set aside.
Assemble salad with tuna fish in the center, a layer of chopped eggs, then a layer of green beans. Sprinkle with chopped mint just before serving and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Salade Piémontaise

The ‘salade Piémontaise’ (Piedmontese salad) sounds very Italian but is in fact a classic French bistrot recipe. I loved buying this salad at my favourite local deli in Paris called ‘Davoli’ (Rue Cler, 7ème). Their’s was excellent and we loved having saucisson sec sandwiches with baguette bread, butter and crunchy pickles.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 large potatoes
1 large carrot
100 grams peas
1 tomato (chopped in cubes)
A large handful of finely chopped pickles
4 eggs (hard-boiled)
4-5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Parsley (a handful, chopped)
Salt and pepper

Boil the eggs until hard. Set aside to cool. Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender (I pre-slice them so they will cook faster). Add the frozen peas during the last minutes so they don’t get too soft. Drain. When they are ready, set aside to cool and chop the potatoes and carrots in coarse cubes.
Chop the tomato in cubes, set aside. Now you can make a small vinaigrette with the olive oil, mustard and vinegar, salt & pepper.
Toss everything together in a salad dish. Add the vinaigrette, mayonnaise, pickles and crème fraîche. The quality of the mayonnaise very important. Make sure you buy a nice rich mayonnaise, preferably sold in the fresh department. Mix well then add the boiled eggs (cut in 4), the parsley, salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated before serving. Et voilà!