19 March 2009

Laura Calder's Nicoise Salad


Laura Calders Nicoise Salad
Starting this week I will be featuring some of our more famous Canadian chefs each week. Through your TV networks, or perhaps on other blogs, or even just right here on More Than Burnt Toast you may have heard of some of them. For those of you who haven't, I hope you will find it interesting to see what our chefs are up to, a little about their history and how they came to love what they do. Laura Calder is a chef who was featured on this blog not that long ago with More Than Burnt Toasts' 2 Year Giveaway. TS of Eating Club Vancouver chose Laura Calder's new book "French Taste" as her prize.




Laura Calder was born and brought up in the province of New Brunswick. Before delving into the cooking world, Calder studied liberal arts and linguistics in Montreal and Toronto, and later received a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She gave up a desk job in an office in Toronto to pursue her dream of becoming a chef. She moved across the country to Vancouver, British Columbia to follow her dream and study.

Her interest in French cuisine began after she worked in California in the wine industry. She met Anne Willan at a food writers’ conference who told her to come to Paris to work on a book about wine and food. She was supposed to stay nine months, but ended up staying seven years. During that time, Laura fell in love with French food!!!

She is the host of "French Food at Home" which is in it's third season on the Canadian Food Network. It is a lifestyle series featuring simple French home cooking which anyone, anywhere, can make. The show is shot in a home kitchen in Nova Scotia where Laura spends her summers, and includes scenes of France, trips to the market, and glimpses of everyday French food life. Laura says, "French food is, above all, a state of mind: caring about the quality and freshness of ingredients, delighting in the kitchen, and indulging in the social and sensual life of the dinner table".

It’s too bad that French food has been so widely misunderstood. People hear the words “French cuisine” and immediately think... heavy sauces, chefs in fancy restaurants and huge textbooks on pastry. In other words, when people think of French food, they imagine haute cuisine and not home cooking!!! I think the time is right for getting back to French home cooking and discovering how it has evolved, how easy it is for anyone, anywhere to make; and how appropriate it is for today.

**Laura Calder's Salade Nicoise**

1/2 clove garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mild olive oil, or half olive oil and half peanut oil
Lemon juice, to taste if needed
Salt and pepper
About 10 leaves from a head of bib lettuce
About 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded
6  cherry tomatoes, halved
6  baby red potatoes, boiled until tender, and sliced
4 ounces green beans, blanched in salted water, refreshed, and drained
3  baby artichoke hearts, cooked and quartered
1  very small purple onion, sliced very finely and separated into rings
A handful of Ni├žoise olives
2  hard-boiled eggs, quartered
3 or 4 anchovies
Fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper

For the dressing: whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and mustard. Whisk in the oil, adding it in a thin stream. Taste, and add some lemon if the dressing isn’t sharp enough. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To serve: toss the lettuce leaves with a very little bit of the vinaigrette and the shredded basil, and arrange on a platter. Toss the tomatoes, potato slices, green beans and artichoke hearts separately in a bit of vinaigrette, and arrange on the platter. Scatter over the onion and olives. Arrange the eggs on top. Season with salt and pepper, and eat.

Serves 2

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

38 comments:

  1. A very summery salad! Wonderful!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This is a lunch that makes you feel happy inside. Full of protein and greens!

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  3. oh yum...I kid you not, I was thinking about salad Nicoise last night!

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  4. What fun to learn about famous Canadian chef's! I look forward to lots of yummy recipes! This salad recipe is a keeper for sure. I made salad nicoise this past Fall for relatives that were visiting and it was a huge hit. YUM!

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  5. This looks like a great idea for a summer plate outside!

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  6. I love watching her show and yes, she does make French cooking look so easy and do-able!!! Gorgeous salad!!!

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  7. Just lovely! Yummy yum yum!

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  8. Hi,
    first time in ur blog...nice to give a intro abt the chef....salad looks perfect

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  9. salad is classy and gorgeous...i was wondering which site offers the best ingredients...i explored a great site recently where i can find food products from around the world. www.myethnicworld.com

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  10. One of my favorite salads -- love the artichokes in this version. A meal in itself. I hadn't heard of Caulder so thanks!

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  11. I am so glad you are profiling Canadian chefs! I was thinking of doing the same - or at least cooking from them more often.
    I love Laura Calder, I have her first book. There are so many great Canadian chefs on tv right now, truly our best television is on FN.ca!

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  12. I have been wanting to make this salad now for a year ever since I rented an old classic dvd of Julia's Kitchen. Yumm, so delicious!

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  13. Yummm, this photo made me want boiled egg! Looks great!

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  14. We have great Chefs in Canada. I love Food Network and one of my favorite is Ricardo.

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  15. What a gorgeous and fresh collection of salad. Roll on summer and my craving for salads.

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  16. I agree. For most people french cuisine equals fine dining. But France actually has a great tradition of peasant food. Delicious rustic dishes using cheap and plentiful ingredients. The quality of the ingredients is so high they translate into fantastic food.

    I love your idea to highlight Canadian chefs. There's so much to learn from other countries.

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  17. The salad looks lovely.

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  18. I actually Have heard of Laura and I must say this salad looks great! I just linked to you on a post about Maple Syrup!

    http://dad-baker.blogspot.com/2009/03/got-my-grubby-hands-on-some-maple-syrup.html

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  19. That is the way I want my Salade Nicoise!
    Great photos Val.

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  20. That looks like a nice and hearty salad!

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  21. Your salad looks so refreshing!!

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  22. Wow, this is indeed a good start! The shot is so spring like!

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  23. I love Nicoise salad and I think it is a great idea to feature Canadian chefs on your blog! That way we'll get to know them too.

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  24. Vall this salad look amazing I love it!!!!! xxGloria

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  25. Yes! Perfect! I've been looking for a recipe for this salad recently and I am so glad to find it here!

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  26. What a gorgeous salad! And beautifully photographed.

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  27. I love her Nicoise salad. Sounds really good with the artichokes. Thanks for sharing Laura with us.

    Come over to my kitchen when you get a chance. I have an award to share with you.
    Sam

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  28. I adore Laura and her food is unpretentious French...my kinda' food.

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  29. Looks so gorgeous and healthy.

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  30. Good that you are going to clearing up the misconception of French food Val.Nicoise Salad looks fresh and healthy.

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  31. I can't tell you how many of these salads I had to prepare in my past life! This one looks great :)

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  32. I really enjoyed this look into your canandian chef and really look forward to the rest of the series!! You always do such a great job of giving us information Val!!

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  33. I watch her show here and I love her food style. Love the salad , looks fresh and delicious

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  34. I remember watching that episode and I liked her twist on this classic French salad!

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  35. The book sounds charming, I have to put it on my list.

    Really nice looking salad.
    LL

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  36. Hai Dear

    This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...Please check out my blog..It is for food lovers and person who love to cook..You could find so many recipes that you can easily try at home..I update this blog on a regular basis…So please follow me and motivate me..Thank you
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com

    Aarthi

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hai Dear

    This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...Please check out my blog..It is for food lovers and person who love to cook..You could find so many recipes that you can easily try at home..I update this blog on a regular basis…So please follow me and motivate me..Thank you
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com

    Aarthi

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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