08 February 2012

The Most Beautiful Walk In the World

I walked the dog today ... it was grey and chilly and the trees were groaning and clacking together in the breeze and spooking Mimi as we made our way down our dirt road, across the state highway, up over the hill and into the village. Two big Newfoundlands bellowed at us, as they lumbered around in their yard. They made Mimi jump and jolted me out of my daydream about this book that I've been reading.

John Baxter is an Australian writer who moved from Down Under to Paris. He married a French woman and settled in France to write. Confronting some health issues, he comes to lead literary walks through the various arondissements (he needs the exercise). Being a writer, he has double dipped on the experience by publishing his account of how he came to be a peddler of culture to the ploucs (tourists) and highlighting several of his itineraries. The book is fodder for daydreams ... it's all there in Paris ... romance, mystery, seediness, couture, wine, sex, life, and death. Oh ... and food.

Well, I need the exercise too and since I can't have Paris right now I shall have to make do with fantasy and a nice Salad Nicoise. It's February in New England, but high summer in my imagination. Pick up a bit of fantasy and enjoy it ... it was a good read.

Classic Niçoise Salad for Two


2 large tomatoes, chopped into chunks and seeded
Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved - smashed
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 small purple onion, slivered
½ c. fava beans (I use lightly steamed edamame or even canned chick peas)
1/3 c. small black olives, pitted
½ head romaine lettuce, washed, chopped, and spun out
2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
3- 4 anchovy filets, cut into very thin strips
3 tbsp. olive oil or French vinaigrette dressing

Making the Salad:

1. Chop the tomatoes and salt them. Set them aside in a small bowl.

2. Rub the inside of a salad bowl with the garlic.

3. Add the lettuce, cucumber, onions, fava beans, olives, flat leaf parsley and toss together.

4. Layer on the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil (reserve 1 tbsp.). Toss the salad gently.

5. Lay the egg wedges over top and drape the anchovy slivers over the eggs. Drizzle the eggs with the last of the olive oil.

Serve with a slice of crusty bread and a glass of sparkling water with lemon slices.

Note:  This was supposed to be a salad for two, but we found there was enough for three servings ... three servings as a dinner salad not a side salad. the measurements in the recipe above would certainly serve six people as a side salad. As for the ingredients, the anchovies and black olives definitely added to the salad, as we had it with just a conservative amount of olive oil drizzled overall and plenty of black pepper. It was delicious!


  1. wow... a plate full of summer... how exceptionally delicious... I've sent The Viking off for tuna as we speak, so guess what i'm having for dinner tonight!?!

  2. I have to tell you i love Salade Niçoise and your is a thing of beauty!

  3. I bet that salad would help make it a Paris walk! (I'd have to sub endamame. Why the heck can't I find fava beans?)


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