Ooooh Tooona.  Chicken of the sea… Sometimes I get a powerful craving for it and when I saw some French beans in my fridge that needed using up, my immediate thought was SALAD NICOISE.  I checked out the spreadsheet and I have 3 film star recipes for Salad Nicoise – one from Grace Kelly, one from Yvonne Mitchell and one from Eartha Kitt – meouw! 

I went with Yvonne’s as it was close to hand.  I forgot to get tomatoes and basil though, and I overlooked the fact her salad didn’t include french beans. Doh!  So mine was a version loosely based on Yvonne’s recipe.

When I was looking at pictures of Yvonne on the internet,  I had one of those moments where I vividly remembered seeing her in a movie but couldn’t think which one.  Through the wonders of the IMDB I worked out that it was the fabulous Yield To The Night with Diana Dors.  I must get that movie on DVD, it is grueling but great.

I guess Salad Nicoise is one of those things that you can fiddle around with a bit depending on what you have in the fridge and cupboards.  To my mind, essentials are lettuce, tuna, anchovies, eggs, french beans and olives.  But here’s how Yvonne likes to make it:


1 cos lettuce

1 large tuna fish

18 black olives

4 hard boiled eggs, halved

4 or 5 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 small tin anchovies in oil

a sprinkling of salad herbs

a few leaves of chopped basil

French dressing

Yvonne says: “My favourite summer salad is a nicoise, but not arranged beautifully in layers as one sees in England, simply tossed together in the real Nicoise fashion.”

I guess as I am English, it was hard for me to resist the layers.  Looks pretty though doesn’t it?


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