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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cookbook Club 2.3: Goddess Nicoise

When I visited Paris in 1999, I was an omni and my friend and I ate and lived it up. I remember pain au chocolat, chocolate mousse, croque monsieur...the only thing I remember wanting but not eating was bouillabaise. I turned vegetarian in 2001 and vegan in 2006. When I last visited France in 2007, my vegan friend and I were in the South of France, which is much more Mediterranean and less forward-thinking and cosmopolitan than Paris. We were a bit hard up to find food: everything had cheese on it or or in it (even the hummus!) and being more laid-back than Paris, cafes and restaurants were often closed for lunch. Suffice it to say, I'm glad we packed a lot of CLIF bars for the trip. We also ate beaucoup de frites.
We stopped in Carcassone, Beziers (where our friend was apprenticing to be a pastry chef!), Marseille, Arles, Montpellier, and bien sur - en Nice, where we were introduced to the Nicoise salad. Which we also couldn't eat.
This "composed salad" usually consists of tuna, hard-boiled egg, olives, tomatoes, onion, and green beans over a bed of lettuce. Isa, in her wisdom and glory, in her newest Appetite for Reduction, has subbed a chickpea/caper mash for the tuna and included steamed red potatoes (occasionally found in Nicoise salads, but not especially traditional). She then tops it all with an amazing Green Goddess Dressing herbed with chives and parsley.

The whole damned thing was delicious! Oh my goodness. Oh my Goddess. And easy to beat! Merci beaucoup, Isa!


  1. wow France! that was really fun to read about! traveling to non-vegan friendly places is pretty tough, good for you! do you have family over there or just love it?(Paris)

  2. Dang! You be postin' up a storm lately! I can't keep up! Salad looks excellent.


    GET IN MY BELLY!!!!!!!!!!


  4. That salad does sound incredibly good! I spent a month in Paris in 1992; I was vegetarian, but not vegan. I went nuts on pastry and camembert! I think I must have gained 15 pounds in 1 month!

    I know what you mean about cheese in everything, but in hummus? That's just not right. :D

  5. That salad does look good. Sometimes you just need to sub in some vegan goodies for things that you used to like or see everybody else eating.

    I was vegetarian/vegan in all my travels abroad, and I don't think I missed out anything (except having an easy time ordering!!).

  6. Beautiful! Can I have some now, please? I love potatoes but never tried them in a salad other than potato salad.

  7. Yum! I've been wanting to try that dressing, but I'll definitely try this whole dish based on your review.

  8. Michelle, both my parents spent a lot of time in France and we even lived there for a few months when I was a kid, so I learned French in school and just love the country. We have a few family friends who live there.

    Shen, I stay postin'.

    LS, that's what I said...

    Rose, if ever there was a place to gain 15 lbs. France would be it!

    Jessica, lucky you. I think France is probably one of the least vegan friendly places, though it's changing. We didn't feel deprived, just frustrated.

    Elisabeth, this was my first time with potatoes in a salad too and it was really good. They are served cold.

    VB, now I know why you're all over her other dressings. Lady knows what's up.

  9. OMG......this sounds awesome! You are going to force me to go ahead and buy Appetite for Reduction by posting meals like this! Man, you have me hungry now.

  10. Michelle, I hope you don't feel forced - it is so worth it!


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