Julia Child recommended eating this salad as an hors d'oeuvre or a main course and arranging the salad "in any manner you wish."
Adapted from a recipe appearing in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume One," by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Used with permission by Alfred A. Knopf Inc.
3 cups cold, blanched green
3 or 4 quartered tomatoes
3 cups cold sliced boiled potatoes
1 head Boston lettuce, separated
washed, drained and dried
3 cups canned tuna chunks,
1/2 cup pitted black olives, prefer-
ably Nioise-type olives
3 hard-boiled eggs, cold, peeled,
and quartered or sliced
2-3 tablespoons capers (optional)*
6 to 12 canned anchovy filets,
Thinly sliced rings of sweet onion
2 to 3 tablespoons, fresh green
1 cup French salad dressing with herbs (recipe follows)
Season the beans, tomatoes and potatoes with several spoonfuls of salad dressing, set aside. Toss the lettuce leaves in a salad bowl with 1/4 cup dressing.
Arrange a bed of lettuce on a serving platter or individual plates; mound tuna in the center. Arrange tomatoes around tuna, then arrange beans, potatoes, olives, eggs and capers (if using) in mounds on the lettuce. Garnish salad with anchovy fillets and onion rings (if using). Drizzle additional salad dressing over salad; sprinkle with herbs. Serves 6.
Kitchen Ade's French
Salad Dressing with Herbs
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch or two dried herbs such as parsley, tarragon, basil or chives
1/4 cup white or red wine vinegar
3/8 cup olive oil
3/8 cup vegetable oil
Whisk together salt, sugar, pepper, dry mustard and herbs and place in a container with a lid. Add vinegar and oils and shake vigorously to blend. Makes 1 cup.
So what are capers? In case you are just not sure what a caper is, you are not alone. A caper is the flower "bud" of a shrub (Capparis spinosa L.) native to Mediterranean countries and parts of Asia. The petite green/gray "nonpareilles" found in southern France are considered by some to be the finest. Pungently flavored capers are used to garnish meat and vegetable dishes and to flavor many sauces and condiments.
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