ORIGINAL SAMMIES: TUNA NIÇOISE Friday, August 26, 2011
In light of last week’s post on the Double Down, our fried chicken-and-ham-and-cheese-and-fried chicken sandwich,well…let’s just put it this way: everything our Double Down is, our Niçoise* is not.
For this week, the most humid of all our summer weeks so far, we wish to remind you that we have available, for both lunch and dinner, this surprisingly light and nearly guiltless sandwich (unless, of course, you’re a vegan) made with locally sourced ingredients that long ago found their way into the ancient diet of one of Mediterranean Europe’s oldest civilizations.
The balmy, temperate seaside resort town of Nice provides what the French have long called a Niçoise diet, meaning it’s relatively light and is often centered around what the sea provides its citizens.
Our Niçoise Sandwich is inspired by that diet, and is built around a tuna salad, comprise of poached albacore tuna, fingerling potatoes, boiled eggs and Kalamata olives, all of which is held together by our housemade aioli.**
Atop that we lay a few spears of pickled green beans, two strips of bacon (this ain’t France, right? It’s Portland) and some wild arugula, all of which is then sandwiched between two toasted slices of whole wheat bread made by the bakers at Grand Central Bakery.
Of course, like always, you can pair it with French fries (if you like), or one of our two daily soup offerings. But we think it tastes best with a tomato-and-cucumber-mesclun green salad dressed simply with olive oil, sea salt and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
*If the cedilla, that little rudder-like hook attached to the underbelly of the “c” is giving you pause, and you worried about incorrectly pronouncing the word Niçoise, just remember that hook indicates that the “c” should be pronounced like an “s, meaning Niçoise is said nee-SWAH.
**Aioli (pronounced: a-O-lee) is, essentially, a French word for the already Francophonic word, Mayonnaise, generally seasoned with garlic, but ours is, in fact, in this case, seasoned with shallots.