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Make Mine Gribiche

February 07, 2001|ROSE DOSTI | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

DEAR SOS: The salad Nicoise at the Getty Museum is a real work of art. I could be placated with just the sauce recipe.

LINDA THIBAULT

Indian Wells

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DEAR LINDA: Chef Terri Buzzard provided the works: the salad and sauce. The sauce can be made two or three days ahead and refrigerated.

Tuna Nicoise

Active Work Time: 1 hour - Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Make use of the fennel tops when poaching the tuna

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SAUCE GRIBICHE

2 tablespoons finely minced shallots

1 tablespoon finely minced capers

1 tablespoon finely minced cornichon pickles

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red, white or Sherry wine vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped hard-boiled egg white

2 tablespoons finely chopped hard-boiled egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon finely minced tarragon leaves

2 teaspoons finely minced Italian parsley

1 teaspoon finely minced chives

Salt, pepper

* Combine the shallots, capers, cornichon, mustard, vinegar, oil, egg white, egg yolk, tarragon, parsley, chives and salt and pepper to taste in a small mixing bowl or lidded jar. Whisk or shake well to blend into a smooth dressing. Makes about 1 cup.

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SALAD

4 boiling potatoes, such as red rose

1/4 pound haricots verts

Salt

4 (1/4-pound) pieces albacore tuna

Water

1/2 cup chopped fennel tops

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 cups field greens or lettuce

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly sliced fennel tossed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice

24 to 32 Nicoise olives

1 cup diced tomato

* Cover the potatoes with water in a saucepan. Bring them to a simmer and cook until tender, 20 minutes. Drain them, and when cool enough to handle, cut each potato into quarters. Set them aside.

* Blanch the beans in boiling salted water so they remain bright green and crisp, but are slightly tender, 3 minutes. Quickly pop them into a bowl of ice water for a few seconds, then drain them and set them aside.

* Pour enough water in a skillet to cover the fish (but don't add the fish) and add the fennel tops, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Simmer the water and fennel 10 minutes to flavor the liquid. Add the fish and poach it for 2 minutes, then turn it over and continue cooking until the outside of the fish has turned light beige, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove the tuna from the skillet and keep it warm.

* Place 1 cup of greens on each of 4 plates. Arrange a portion of the tuna in the center of each bed of lettuce. Divide the vegetables among the plates, surrounding each with the haricots verts, potato quarters, onion, fennel, olives and tomato. Drizzle each salad with about 1/4 cup of the Sauce Gribiche.

4 servings. Each serving: 515 calories; 1,309 mg sodium; 68 mg cholesterol; 33 grams fat; 25 grams carbohydrates; 31 grams protein; 4.39 grams fiber.

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* Napkin from Williams-Sonoma stores.

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Send requests to Culinary SOS, Food Section, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or e-mail to food@latimes.com. Please include last name and city of residence. Include restaurant address when requesting restaurant recipes. We are unable to answer recipe requests by mail.

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