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Salade Niçoise

Mmm...I love this salad; delicious; one of my favorites. I've also been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful city of Nice on a couple occasions, which of course is the namesake of this particular recipe. Anyhow, we served this salad for a luncheon today and thought it appropriate to post the is also the 100 birthday of Julia Child, the person who not only influenced much of how America cooks today but also introduced this salad to us as well. While it is an easy salad to assemble--tuna, cooked egg, potato (the potato in the foreground were boiled with a bit of turmeric for added color), green beans, olives, etc--it is also a really delicious and healthy meal. The original recipe also includes anchovies, which I love, but for some reason the average American recoils at their mere mention. This is usually served with a simple vinaigrette sauce, but I prefer if with a light but garlicky aioli or spicy rouille; recipes are below.

(Garlic Mayonnaise)
Makes about 2 cups
6-10 peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cold water
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups olive oil

Combine the garlic, water, lemon juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the egg yolks and continue to process until the yolks become frothy and much lighter in color. With the machine running, begin to pour the olive oil through the feeder tube in a thin steady stream until all of the oil is incorporated into the aïoli. Store the aïoli in a refrigerated and covered container for up to 3 days.

(Spicy Red Pepper Mayonnaise)
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 leaves fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Combine the eggs, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, basil, cayenne, and roasted peppers in a food processor. Puree until smooth and aerated, and with the motor running drizzle the olive oil into the mixture. Add the breadcrumbs and pulse the food processor until they are combined. Transfer the rouille to a clean container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


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