Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 

A Nicoise Salad by any other name ...

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 15 years I've produced my share of live tv cooking segments, but never had much time to devote to cooking myself.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the east end of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Cooking, living, exploring and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.

Ever have one of those lazy days, where you're hungry , but you don't feel like going shopping and the items in your kitchen are ...well, limited?

Back in the days of living single in Manhattan just picking up the phone and calling my favorite take-out restaurant solved that dilemma.

But now that I live in the country, the closest supermarket is in the next town over. We do have one chinese restaurant and one sushi restaurant, but neither one delivers, imagine that.

So when you're hungry and don't feel like getting in the car to get some food, you have to be creative!

Years ago when I was working at WNBC, there was a limitless number of restaurants and take-out places surrounding Rockefeller Plaza. 

One day I bought a Nicoise Salad, consisting of lettuce, string beans, potatoes, olives and grilled tuna. It was scrumptious and I went back there several times for that wonderful salad.

Unfortunately, my inexperienced palate at the time had never tasted nicoise, let alone heard of it, so I assumed you pronounced it something like "Nik-o-eeze".

Don't ask me how I came up with that pronounciation, but one afternoon at work, during our break, myself and several control-room workers were debating what to get for dinner. 
When I suggested getting a "Nik-o-eeze" salad, Keith, my Audio Engineer, nearly fell off his chair laughing at me.

"Monique", he said. It's pronounced "Nee-swas".  

Needless to say, he wouldn't let me forget that faux pas for a long time.

Anyway.  Nicoise is French for "in the style of Nice". Meaning a dish made in the cooking style of Nice, in Provenance, France.

These dishes usually include garlic, olives, tomatoes and anchovies.  The traditional Salade Nicoise includes olives, tomatoes, anchovies, fava beans, hard boiled eggs with a light vinaigrette.  While not typical, potatoes are found in the recipe outside of Nice.

Nicoise Salads have also been called the French equivalent to the American "Cobb Salad".


A few years ago, when my husband and I were dating, we were lounging round his house one day, feeling hungry.

Now he is the type of person who actually cares where his food comes from and prefers home-cooked to take-out. 

So I decided to whip up a nicoise salad from memory. Luckily, because he likes home cooking, so his kitchen was actually stocked with vegetables, potatoes and other goodies.
Me on the other hand, if I wanted to cook during my single days, I would have to go out and buy everything.

So I boiled up some potatoes and eggs, steamed some string beans, substituted the grilled tuna with canned tuna fish and fudged a quick vinaigrette and it turned out awsome!
This past summer, we've already made quite a few with all the string beans we've grown in the garden.

There aren't any strict rules when it comes to making a Nicoise salad.  Add what you have and what you like. This can be a main course or side dish, plus it's a great way to enjoy the 
bounty of the garden and eat healthy. 

             Nicoise Salad

  • 6 medium to big potatoes
  • 1/2 pound string beans
  • 1/2 head romaine lettuce
  • 2 cans tuna fish
  • hard boiled eggs (about 2 per person)
  • kalamata olives

Boil the potatoes until soft enough for potato salad, but NOT soft enough for mashed potatoes.  Set aside to cool.

Steam string beans, set aside to cool. When potatoes are cool, chop them up in bite size pieces. Combine them in a large bowl with the string beans.  Chop lettuce like a regular salad and add to the bowl. Add tuna fish and olives. You want to remove the pits before hand. Add the vinaigrette and carefully mix contents of bowl.  

Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worceshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine ingrediants in a bowl, whisk together, pour over salad when ready to eat.

Add the sliced boiled eggs last , after you've mixed in the vinaigrette. This saves them from getting all mushed up and creates a nice garnish over the top of the salad.  Serves 4-6 people.

If you don't like string beans, try different vegetables. Cutting back on carbs? Omit the potatoes, it's still a filling dish and be sure to try it with grilled tuna some day.

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