This is a great time of the year. Our grandchildren are out of school, and their parents are looking for a little relaxing time. That means we get to have them in Santa Fe for a few days. Our youngest, Sarah, is here now with her two toddlers. That is exciting for Grandma and Grandpa, but it also is a reminder why young people are parents and old people are grandparents.

Sarah and her husband, Evan, are chefs. They have fallen into the occupational hazard of those who cook for a living: they taste – and taste – and taste. Over the years they have added a few pounds along with – for Sarah – the weight gain of motherhood. As a result, they have gone on a very strict diet and exercise regimen prescribed by a no-nonsense personal trainer.

Before her arrival, Sarah announce that there would not be the usual eating out that seems to be part of the visiting tradition. I was disappointed about that, because there are several new restaurants in town worthy of a visit. The other restriction was that home meals should be high protein/low carbohydrate. How to deal with that? No pasta; no red and green chile enchiladas; no pies or cakes. I decided that a simple resolution, at least for the meal the evening of their arrival, was salade Niçoise. I know – what about the potato salad? No problem. That becomes a personal option.

Sarah signed off on the suggestion, and so that’s what we had. I bought some beautiful raw ahi tuna at the store which I seared to keep the lovely pink inside. There were haricots verts at the farmers market and Kalamata olives from the Cheesemongers of Santa Fe. Everything else I found in the pantry or refrigerator, so it was just a matter of cooking and blanching the beans, hard boiling the eggs, and assembling everything right before we ate. Salade Niçoise [2]-1 That gave us time to enjoy the beautiful sunset. A good ending to a tiring day for Sarah shepherding two toddlers on a flight that wound up sitting on the tarmac for thirty minutes after arrival, waiting for a gate to open. Salade Niçoise [2]-2


Salade Niçoise


  • butter lettuce, washed and spun dry
  • potato salad – your favorite recipe
  • ahi tuna, sautéed and sliced thinly across the grain
  • anchovies packed in oil, drained
  • haricots verts, boiled and blanched
  • hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • tomatoes, quartered
  • kalamata olives
  • vinaigrette


  1. Arrange the lettuce leaves around the edge of a large serving bowl
  2. Heap the potato salad in the middle
  3. Arrange the other ingredients on top of the potato salad
  4. Dress with vinaigrette and serve.


Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes


  1. My favourite all-time salad, the best one I had was in Benahavis in Spain, everything in it tasted better than the equivalent in England.

  2. It must have been the sangria.

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