Salade Niçoise, Moules à la Marinière, and a Cherry Clafouti

Brooke Newberry
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A salad, entree and dessert for an all-Julia, three-course meal.  Get ready for some fine French cookin’:

Julia’s Salade Niçoise

From The Way To Cook

Serves 6

  • 1 head of Boston Lettuce, large, washed and dried
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed, blanched, refreshed in cold water, and dried
  • 2/3 to 1 cup salad dressing, such as the Oil and Lemon Dressing (recipe here)
  • 3 or 4 fine ripe red tomatoes, peeled (if you wish) and cored, quartered and seasoned before serving
  • 8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 quart of French Potato salad (recipe here)
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
  • 1 can flat anchovy filets packed in oil, opened and drained just before serving
  • 1/2 cup black Nicoise-type olives
  • 3 or 4 Tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Shortly before serving, line a handsome, large and wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with a sprinkling of salt.

Toss the beans in a mixing bowl with a little of the dressing, and correct seasoning.

Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes.

Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of dressing.

Place the potatoes in the center of the bowl or platter; mound beans at strategic intervals, interspersing them with tomatoes and mounds of tuna.

Ring the salad with the eggs and curl an anchovy filet on top of each.

Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers and parsley. Serve as soon as possible.

 

Julia Child’s Moules à la Marinière

From Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

Serves 3-4

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 quarts (about 3 pounds) mussels, scrubbed and debearded

  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio

  • 1/4 cup minced scallions, shallots, or leeks

  • 4 parsley sprigs, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley for garnish

  • 1/2 of a bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon roughly chopped fresh thyme

  • 1/8 tespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 baguette, in 1/2-inch slices, drizzled with olive oil and toasted

Whisk together the flour and 4 cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Add the clean mussels to the flour-water mixture, topping off with water as needed to cover the mussels. Allow the mussels at least an hour of soaking time in order to ensure that they disgorge any sand and grit.

Bring the wine, minced onion, parsley sprigs, bay leaf, thyme, pepper and butter to a simmer in a large (6+ quart) stockpot over high heat.

Meanwhile, drain the mussels from their flour and water liquid, and rinse once more.

Add the clean mussels to the stockpot, top with the lid and shake vigorously from time to time in order to ensure that the mussels cook evenly. Continue with this for 5 minutes, or until the majority of the mussel shells have opened (this is your indication that they’re cooked through).

Serve the mussels in shallow soup/pasta bowls, and ladle over some of their briny broth on top. Garnish with minced parsley and serve alongside the toasted baguette.

Note: Discard any mussels whose shells are cracked or open when raw (this indicates that they’re likely dead). Also, discard any mussels that don’t open after steaming.

 

Julia Child’s Cherry Clafouti

Serves 6-8

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups cherries, pitted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a blender, combine the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered baking dish.

Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan. Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar.

Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown (to test: stick a knife in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready). Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.

 

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