Paul Anka's Salade Nicoise
For vinaigrette sauce:
1 tablespoon cider (or tarragon) vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive (or salad) oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon (prepared) mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few gratings freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil)
Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
For the salad:
4 medium boiling potatoes, scrubbed
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 head Bibb lettuce
2 bell peppers
1 cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
4 radishes, cleaned, cut in slivers
3 stalks celery (or celery root), washed and sliced
4 ripe Italian plum tomatoes, peeled, cut in quarters
1 large can albacore tuna (preferably packed in olive oil), drained
4 hard-cooked eggs, chilled, peeled and cut in quarters
12 pitted black olives (preferably Italian or Greek type)
1/2 can anchovy filets, drained
2 red onions, peeled, cut in thinly-sliced rings
1 tablespoon minced parsley
12 capers, drained
Carefully prepare greens by washing, drying and chilling. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until barely tender. Drain, cool slightly, peel, cut into bite-size chunks. Sprinkle few spoonfuls of vinaigrette over potato pieces; marinate, refrigerate several hours before assembling salad.
Wash peppers, cut in half, remove seeds and filaments, and slice into julienne strips.
Fill large shallow salad bowl loosely with romaine and Bibb lettuce which have been gently broken into serving pieces. Form bed of lettuce, top with potato and arrange layers of pepper, cucumber, radishes, celery (or celery root marinated in small amount of vinaigrette), and tomatoes to from a design.
With a fork, break albacore tuna slightly into chunks, place in center of bowl. Arrange eggs and olives around the edge of bowl to form a border; garnish with anchovy, minced parsley and capers. Cover with plastic wrap (or aluminum foil), chill until ready to serve.
When salad is ready for its presentation at the table, top with thin rings of red onion, pour in remaining vinaigrette sauce, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss lightly to serve.
Serve as main course summer salad with French bread, hard rolls (or mix garlic-flavored croutons lightly browned in olive oil) and a chilled white wine (Chablis, Pouilly Fuisse, Frascati, Soave Bolla or Vino Verde). Serves 4-6.