Monday, August 22, 2005
Street in the
One-man band near the
Today’s Le Parisien has several articles about
salade Niçoise.” Mostly, the
articles expound upon the high prices charged by the restaurants and
brasseries for what is supposed to be a very affordable salad. Under attack are especially the restaurants
in the south of
I wasn’t all
that interested in the articles about the cost, because I know that these
restaurants, like those in Sanibel, must make their money during the
relatively short vacation season.
What really got
my attention was the article about what should and should not be in a Niçoise
salad. For this piece, Le Parisien’s reporter in Nice
interviewed Jo Issautier, the proprietor of Lou Balico (the basil), the
restaurant in Nice that is supposed to have the essential, correct Niçoise
Jo says the
Parisian restaurants do it all wrong!
Above all, he says, never add potatoes, rice, or green beans to a
Niçoise salad! The next most important
thing to remember is that you should either have anchovies OR tuna in the
salad, but NEVER both. To use both in
the same salad is a sacrilege universally denounced in Nice, according to Le Parisien’s reporter.
salads can vary somewhat according to what is in season and according to the
chefs who “can add their own grain of salt.”
In Jo’s Niçoise
salad (which costs 10 euros) he puts,
on a bed of mesclun, country tomatoes (these are the normal-size round ones),
white onions, garlic, hearts of celery, red radishes, green or red peppers,
violet spring artichokes, hard-boiled eggs, and little black olives from
Nice. All is “bathed” in a country
olive oil with a little vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cucumber is served on the side.
Jo also offers
a vegetarian Niçoise with no egg, no tuna, and no anchovies.
beginning, Jo says, the Niçoise salad was a dish for the poor. The recipe consisted of raw vegetables
based on country tomatoes, local olive oil, and little black olives from
Nice. Anchovies were typically used
because they were less expensive than tuna.
became festival fare, and now has become an “hors-d’oeuvre authentique et
recherché,” according to Jo.