Not your French aunt’s salade niçoise

I became a French citizen today. My father is French and recently he renewed his paperwork. We’ve been gathering papers for better part of a year so I could also get an EU French passport. Now I am a citizen. Vive la France. I am registered to vote in their elections, will have a French birth certificate, an identification card which will allow me to travel throughout the EU without a passport, and I will also have a passport. Very exciting to me. With a year left of grad school I imagine myself moving away from Gotham. Though I cannot imagine quite yet to where. France is high on the list. I’ve always loved the Basque and Loire regions. I think it would be terrific to raise children there. But who knows. Of course California is on my mind every day. And then also Argentina where I have a surrogate family and would be a wonderful place to live. Though there remains fourteen months between here and blowing this popsicle Gotham. The daydreaming continues..

In the meantime, here is another recipe from the Iron chef like food fight I competed in last year. This one brought me to the third and semi-final round. I consider it a very loose translation of the salade niçoise which is always a favourite of mine, avec anchois as I’ve grown and my tastes have matured. This can be made without meat, with tofu, or with tuna as it is traditionally prepared, with poulet if you must, or with rabbit if you dare.

Not your French aunt’s summer salade niçoise—A salad for all seasons
Serves four to six

Not more than half a pound of lean, no hormones, no antibiotic steak, marinated for at least an hour in olio, chopped ginger, scallion, sel, cracked piper, crushed red pepper, grilled to medium rare, cooled, and sliced thin against the grain
1 head red leaf lettuce washed and broken up
1 bunch arugula washed and broken up
1 good size head of endive, washed and chopped into half inch sections
Cherry tomatoes
Haricot verts steamed or boiled with a pinch of sel
4 nearly hardboiled eggs cut in quarters
Niçoise olives
1 cup brown rice boiled to al dente
1 cup black lentils boiled to al dente
Ginger, chopped
Scallion, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh thyme, chopped
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh cracked piper
Anchois, per preference, chopped

In a favourite large flat bowl toss in red leaf lettuce, arugula, and endive. Then compose the haricots verts, quartered egg , cherry tomatoes, and niçoise olives in small bunches around the perimeter. In another bowl mix together brown rice and black lentils then scoop onto the salad leaving room for the grilled sliced steak. Next to the brown rice and lentil mix, place the sliced steak.

For the salad dressing, in a bowl mix olio, balsamic vinegar, fresh chopped thyme and basil, sel, cracked piper, and if you please, anchois. Serve on the side in a nice cruet.

Bon appétit..

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