Salad Niçoise with mackerel

Plenty of controversy here. But a fruit and vegetable box arrived on my doorstep this morning and I had to give it a go. For a very thorough discussion of other people’s versions see this.

Potatoes? I went for cubed sautéed main crop. Then drained and sprinkled with salt. Lettuce or no? I plumped for the star of my delivery, a crunchy frilly Webbs type.

Tomatoes? I used the last of the dark red mini plum tomatoes growing outside. Olives? Some Moroccan black olives with herbs from a jar. And fish? Fresh mackerel, roasted, filleted and finished in a pan. Eggs? boiled but with softish yolks. Cucumber? sliced lengthways and seared in the fish pan along with some thin slices of pepper.

Full list of ingredients to make salad for two people: One fresh mackerel. one potato, one or two spring onions, four or five small, ripe tomatoes, half a fresh lettuce, a good sized chunk of cucumber, one small pepper, one lemon, a handful of preserved olives, a few cooked green beans, one or two boiled eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, slices of avocado, fresh marjoram and basil leaves, black pepper, salt, olive oil.

Alternatives: just use your favourites. Fresh or tinned salmon is tasty, nothing wrong with tuna or anchovies, any sort of green bean can only be a good thing. The dressing was made from oil and lemon juice with some crushed garlic and black pepper but personally I could envisage a little fresh mayonnaise with salmon and tuna.

Serve with some crunchy bread and a glass of Provençal rosé.

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