Unless you want to get your head taken off by your server, never ask where the cooked potatoes and green beans are when you order the famed salade niçoise in its home city of Nice on France’s Cote D’Azur. Heaven forbid you miss the tuna you may have gotten used to back home too.
It turns out the salad is a victim of its own success. It’s been amended and altered from its original recipe so that even the sunniest locals frown upon variations of the real thing.
And what is the real thing? Salade niçoise doesn’t even appear in the bible of French cuisine, “Larousse Gastronomique.” Instead, it is pictured as “Mediterranean salad.”
We asked a local for help with the genuine article and here’s what she said: “I am French, I live in Nice, so I can assure you salade niçoise does not contain green beans, potatoes, or any other ‘cooked’ vegetables. If you want a real salade niçoise, you must use these (and only these) ingredients: tomatoes, cucumbers, artichokes, green peppers, onions, basil, garlic, hard-cooked eggs, anchovies, black olives, olive oil, salt, and pepper, of course!” After some cajoling, she parted with her recipe for the salad, insisting that if it is to be true to itself, all of its ingredients must come directly from the market.