Staying with the folks means that even though I am on hols, I am still kicking it in the kitchen. Cooking in someone else's kitchen (even though it is the kitchen I grew up with) made me realise how attached you get to your own cooking utensils, pans, knives, oven. This hasn't altered the quality of the dishes, but I look forward to giving my kitchen a big hug when I get home.
No trip back here is complete unless I make lunch for the Lunch Bunch (AKA my mother and her posse of discriminating foodie friends). On this occasion, given the lovely weather, I decided that a trio of salads was in order. Lunch consisted of a Tomato and Mozzarella salad, Tabbouleh and Salade Nicoise. The Salade Nicoise was done specially for my mother in memory of her last trip to London, in which we went to the South of France to visit friends of mine. My mother had never had Salade Nicoise before and in spite of a dislike for tuna, we both enjoyed it. It's a great salad to eat in the middle of summer to refresh and cool down but equally as nice in the winter to remind you of those heady days of summer.
1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1-2 4 1/4 oz tin of tuna in olive oil (if only serving this I would double the amount of tuna)
4 tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cucumber, sliced and halved into 1/2 inch chunks
4 hard boiled eggs, quartered
16 black olives, whole
8 anchovy fillets, whole (you can either use tinned ones or get some from the deli counter)
for the dressing:
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
Mix the dressing ingredients together and either shake or whisk until it emulsifies (until the oil and vinegar combine into one liquid). Put to one side.
Put the romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Serve.
NB: When serving each person should get a quarter of the salad ingredients (meaning 4 pieces of tomato, 4 olives, 4 pieces of egg, etc.).
To keep the salad light, I haven't over dressed it but you can add more dressing if desired.