I seem to have been to a lot of picnics lately. They are usually the kind of event where each person brings a salad, a quiche, sausage rolls, a dessert or so on, ending up with enough food to feed twelve or more people.
For the last picnic I volunteered a tuna salad - a salade Niçoise (or Niçoisée as per the American tourists in the marvelous film "A Good Year"!)
I looked up what constitutes an authentic salade Niçoise and decided to lay everything out in rows rather than tossed in a large bowl. That way people could pick out the bits they like without having to rummage around in the bowl too much. It looked appetising too.
The whole lot was laid on a bed of crisp lettuce and I constructed it straight into a large plastic box to take to the picnic. It was served with a simple home made French dressing.
One tin of tuna will serve four people if there is plenty of salad and everything can be scaled up or down to suit your taste or the number of servings required. I reckon the amount shown above would serve six as it is, or twelve when you add a slice of quiche, a sausage roll, etc.
Details to be found here.
The beans were frozen haricots verts and to cook them I used a small steamer basket that came in a set from Sainsbury's - one shallow saucepan and two steamer sections for £20 or thereabouts. This is what I brought to use here in France but in the UK I use just one steamer section with lid which I found for £2 in a charity shop. We rarely use more than one steamer section and it fits several of my saucepans - bargain!
For the salad
crisp green lettuce
chopped peeled cucumber
hard boiled eggs (4 here)
cold boiled new potatoes, skin on
cold steamed French beans
halved black olives
quartered small tomatoes
tinned albercore tuna
For the dressing
6 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of caster sugar
Boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Plunge immediately into cold water. When cold, peel and cut into quarters.
Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes or until just tender. Put the frozen beans into a steamer basket on top of the potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain and cool.
Wash all the salad ingredients, chop and arrange as in the photo.
To make the dressing put all the ingredients into a jam jar or bottle with a lid and give it a good shake to combine. Shake well before serving.