Cycle 13 – Item 120
5 (Thu) May 2022
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with W, IZ
Salade Niçoise is a French dish. At a minimum, it consists of raw tomatoes + boiled eggs + tinned tuna or anchovies + olives, dressed in olive oil. Variations often include boiled potatoes + raw or parboiled green beans, dressed in a vinaigrette – according to sources cited on Wikipedia, purists are adamantly against such additions, though many famous chefs, even the venerated August Escoffier, who literally wrote the book on French cuisine, seem perfectly comfortable with variations of all sorts.
Having experienced the dish perhaps twice in my life, I was inspired to try making the dish for the first time after watching Chef Kenji do it on his cooking program (see How to Make a Niçoise Salad) – he too doesn’t care about keeping it “pure.”
My version included iceberg lettuce + baby arugula + tomatoes + parboiled asparagus (oddly, green beans are not available in Korea) + (kalamata) olives + eggs + tuna, dressed in a vinaigrette comprising olive oil + white wine vinegar + dijon mustard + anchovies + capers + parsley + salt + pepper.
It turned out great. The vinaigrette was the key: a harmony of salty-tangy-zippy that enhanced the natural flavors of the salad components – it also worked as a sauce for the pan-seared salmon. Salade niçoise will now be a regular dish in the rotation.
IZ has been struggling with weight gain. W, as well as her parents (his grandparents), blast him with various old-school measures, such as fat-shaming, forced “dieting” (starvation), and financial incentives (100,000 won for every lost kilo), which I believe will prove ineffective, especially in the long run, and psychologically and physiologically detrimental, especially in the long run. Instead, I’ll make a stronger effort to inculcate him with healthier nutritional habits, including by way of example to prepare healthier meals at home, which I believe will help him naturally maintain a healthy weight and have a proper understanding of healthy nutrition, especially in the long run.
During tonight’s meal, I explained Michael Pollan’s advice to “Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.” The simple spread illustrated the various principles, particularly the salad, even the fries.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)