2 That One’s Nice, This One’s Genuine

La (Vraie) Salade Niçoise


Jacques Médecin, the Reagan-loving, American-talking Mayor of Nice, who has quarrelled with novelist Graham Greene (whom he successfully sued for libel), is the leading Foodie of Provence. In his Cuisine Niçoise we learn that the Real Thing consists only of raw ingredients – except for hard-boiled eggs – that it may not, under any circumstances, include boiled potatoes or green beans, and is not dressed with vinaigrette, but the tomatoes are salted three times ‘and moistened with olive oil’. He does allow either raw broad beans or thinly sliced raw artichokes, depending on the season, but not both. Apart from these, he also allows that the Niçois themselves nowadays break the rules by including both anchovies and tuna fish in the same salad.

Médecin calls for a salad bowl rubbed with garlic, into which he puts 10 tomatoes, quartered and salted, 3 quartered hard-boiled eggs, 12 anchovy fillets or 300 g (12 oz) canned tuna, 1 peeled and sliced cucumber, 2 thinly sliced green peppers, 6 sliced spring onions, 200 g (½ lb) shredded small broad beans or 12 shredded tiny globe artichokes, 100 g (4 oz) black olives, 6 shredded basil leaves and 6 tbs of olive oil. Foodies forget about making SN with leftover boiled potatoes. You start from scratch now, for a taste of your own Médecin.