I have learned over the years that if I post any recipe that isn’t entirely “authentic”, my foodie friends will immediately assail me with tsk-tsks of disapproval that I dared fool around with something as iconic as a DOC recipe. Last year it was my recipe for Cassoulet! OMG, it was as if I had leaped over the glass of the popemobile and assaulted His Holiness.

My strategy when making non-authentic variations of classic recipes is now to rename them in the appropriate “faux” terminology, like Rolecks or pleather.

Today’s lunch was my take on the classic French Salad Nicoise, which I have named my Salad Nice-Was, which it actually was.


  • A layer of mixed baby lettuces (I used mache and bay arugula)
  • A layer of crunchy blanched yellow beans
  • A layer of crunchy blanched asparagus
  • A few steamed or boiled tiny red potatoes split in half
  • Some cherry tomatoes split in half
  • A few Greek olives
  • A hardboiled egg quartered
  • Some thinly sliced homemade gravlax (mine)
  • A generous sprinkling of smoked black pepper
  • A couple of tablespoons of my homemade vinaigrette with garlic, dijon, dried tarragon, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice.

Served with a half-liter of retsina split between my wife and me. A perfect New Year’s day lunch.