Women’s History Month – Julia Child’s Nicoise Salad Simplified

March is Women's History Month; a thirty-one day celebration of women’s contributions to the world. There have been innumerable noteworthy female figures throughout the years; game-changing women in politics, civil rights, education, the arts and pretty much every other field you can imagine.

Of course, being a food blogger, I am obsessed with female chefs and food-industry pioneers who paved the way for other women in a still predominantly male-dominated profession. Did you know that to this day, according to a recent Bloomberg study, men overwhelmingly hold the highest-paying and most prominent kitchen spots at non-chain restaurants in America? But, I say, it’s the women that have the majority of good taste! While Julia Child never held a restaurant chef position, she is definitely a revered personality who has long captured our attention and appetites in the world of food.  The legendary television chef and cookbook author didn’t even start cooking until age 32 (until that she “just ate”) when she was inspired to take up culinary classes while living in France during the late 1940s. It was the two-volume tome of taste and techniques that jettisoned her into the ranks of culinary stardom, a cookbook titled Mastering the Art of French Cooking. First published in 1961, this recipe-filled manual was a best seller for the entire five years following its debut thanks to the groundbreaking way in which Child adapted the cooking methods and beloved dishes of France for the accessibility and abilities of mainstream American housewives. While sitting down to a dinner of Child’s dishes as a guest is simply divine, the implementation of her recipes can be a little complicated. I think they are meant for the home cook with a high level of detail and perseverance, or at least a person with much more time on her hands than most of us juggling a hectic 21st century schedule. While very  interesting to read, recipes can go on for pages as Child describes every technical detail of executing a recipe to utter perfection, be that extracting bone marrow, scaling a fish or creating an aromatic herb bouquet.

Salad Nicoise Ingredients Salad Nicoise Ingredients

 

Speedy Salad Nicoise

Serves 4 | Finish in 45 minutes
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In light of March being National Women’s Month, I’d like to give a big shout out to a great culinary role model, the late Julia Child. While I may not have the same time and techniques she put into her signature “French for Americans” recipes, I certainly admire her style and advice – Child once said, “Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun!” I couldn’t agree more!

Ingredients

3 large eggs, ¾ lb trimmed green beans, 4 small red potatoes, 1 head of Bibb, Boston or artisanal Romaine lettuce, ½ pint halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes, ½ cup drained Nicoise olives, 2 (4-oz) pouches drained premium albacore tuna steaks, 2 Tbsp. drained capers, 1 Tbsp. Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Parsley, 1 Tbsp. Litehouse Food’s Instantly Fresh Chives, 4 oz. Litehouse Food’s Red Wine Olive Oil Vinaigrette,

Directions

1. Add eggs to large pot of water and bring to a boil; allow to gently boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Drain, remove shells and let eggs cool. Slice or quarter eggs lengthwise; set aside. 2. Add the green beans to pot of water and par-boil for 2 minutes. Lift out with tongs and rinse in colander with cold water. 3. Return the water in pot to a boil, adding more water if needed. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes or tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl to cool. Peel potatoes and quarter or cut in large chunks. 4. On a large platter, arrange the lettuce, sliced eggs, green beans, potatoes, halved tomatoes, and olives. Drain tuna steaks from their packing liquid and place in center of salad; sprinkle with capers. Dust entire salad with parsley and chives. Drizzle with vinaigrette.


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