Last seven days: Colloquium = 6 days away; Japan = 8 days away; number of times I’ve been up past 2am = 5; number of morning I’ve woken up refreshed only because the prior day’s caffeine is still in my system = 2; number of books studying = 23; pots of tea drunk: 20? Times cooked = 1; chocolate bars eaten = 4; movies watched = 3. Even with all the caffeine, I’m relatively stress-free and happy. ONE MORE WEEK TO GO. Woot.
Today was a little… funny. I had the dry run of my colloquium and once I ruled it, I got so tired I thought I was going to do a face plant on the bed. I sort of did. My body is a little sleepy. Or in desperate need of some proteins. We wanted to cook. The grocery store this evening had the saddest looking produce. I could have sworn the place must be going out of business. So we made a Salade Niçoise, which doesn’t need much in the way of fresh greens. Other than totally losing my head and having Matt cut up the tuna prior to searing, it was excellent. Niçoise is usually a salad I get in restaurants because, well, it’s a little high maintenance. As disappointing as it sounds, right now I don’t trust most restaurants. Niçoise comes home with me.
1/2 anchovy, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Mix ingredients with a whisk. Set aside.
2 cups mesclun, washed
A handful of cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
A handful of kalamata or niçoise olives, pitted
A handful of haricot verts, washed and tips removed
A couple small red potatoes, bruises removed
1/4 pound tuna, refrigerated
Place a small pot on to boil. Get an ice bath ready in the sink. Once boiling, add the haricot verts and boil for 4 minutes. Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath to cool. Once cool remove and set aside. Add the potatoes to the boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 15 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, quartered and set aside. Dump the water and refill with cold water. Place the egg in, and turn on to boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and let the egg sit for 10 minutes. Remove immediately and place in an ice bath. Once cool enough, remove the shell under cold, running water, and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds.
How you *should* do it: Take out the tuna steak. Coat on either side with some of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Set a saute or grill pan on medium-high. Add some olive oil. Sear on either side, 2 minutes. Slice thinly.
Plating the Niçoise is like piling a Thanksgiving dinner atop a bed of greens. Toss the mesclun in some of the dressing. Plate. Toss the beans in a bit of the dressing and set atop in a heap. Arrange the tomatoes and olives in similar fashion. Fan out the tuna slices in the middle, and do the same with the egg on the side of the plate. Serve.