Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blink and you'll miss it

It was summer there, for a minute. In typical fashion, I have been either over- or under- dressed pretty much every day since the start of June, either bundling against imaginary fog on crystal-blue days or dusting off a sundress when the wind picks up downtown. But when it comes to food, I've been right on track.

It got warm there, for a minute, and when it did I took advantage by serving salade nicoise to our friends for dinner, with hard boiled farm eggs and that luscious Italian oil-packed tuna that makes Chicken of the Sea seem a bit like cat food. It was a kind of high-low night, as we followed the salad and pink wine with many rousing games of asshole, played on our deck of naughty cards which feature, er, models from the 1980s (a gift from our bachelorette party). Then we capped off the evening with rich chocolate cupcakes topped with velvety ganache.

There's no real recipe for salade nicoise, just things you ought to include if you have them on hand: blanched green beans, quartered radishes, the eggs, tomatoes, black olives and boiled new potatoes. We added farm carrots becausewe had surplus, and from time to time I get kind of crazy and add marinated artichokes or roasted red peppers. But the important thing is to buy the best canned tuna you can find, which means that it's Italian and that it comes packed in olive oil rather than nasty vegetable oil. You will pay more for this tuna, and I know it can be hard to feel like it is worth it, when you're accustomed to paying $1.29 for a can and all of a sudden I am asking you to pay $3.99. Just trust me on this one. It matters.