This is one of Thomas Keller’s versions of a Niçoise salad. The combination of flavors was very exciting. The combination of tomatoes, olives, green beans, tarragon, and chervil is French. Thomas Keller sears the tuna and serves it raw. The eggs are medium-cooked. He makes the vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, Dijon, and canola oil. He blanches vegetables in very salty water. By adding 1 cup of salt per gallon of water, he explains that the vegetables will be “uniformly seasoned” and the pigments from the vegetables will not change the color of the water.
A layer of gas between the skin and the flesh of the vegetables makes them have a dull color. The heat from blanching them releases this gas. Once the gas has been released, someone has the opportunity to restore the bright color of the vegetables. When people cook vegetables for long periods of time in water without a lot of salt, they permit the pigments, acids, and enzymes that make a vegetable bright enter the water. This makes the vegetables have a dull color. Adding salt to the cooking water forces parts of vegetables responsible for making the color of the vegetables to remain inside the vegetables.
Thomas Keller explains that people should use a lot of water when cooking vegetables because the temperature of the water may decrease significantly when someone adds vegetables to the water. This idea is important when deep frying. Because I do not have a commercial deep fryer, and since my deep fryer is small, I able to make fried wings that exceed my expectations. The wings do not significantly decrease the temperature of the oil.
After blanching vegetables in salty water, Thomas Keller refreshes them in ice water to stop the cooking process. He also does this when he cooks medium-cooked eggs. He puts the eggs in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and once the water is simmering with excitement, he cooks them for 4 minutes. After he cooks them, he eliminates “carry over cooking” by putting his eggs in ice water. I put some other ideas of Thomas Keller about salad making in my blog post Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza Experiment Continued 3.
Where I live, there is an exciting market with a large selection of very flavorful sausages. This is a place where people can have poultry, game, pork, and meat from local farmers in the state where I live. I have tried many of their sausages, and for this meal I tried white pudding. Pudding is supposedly from the United Kingdom, or Ireland. White pudding is made with pork, and this pudding was spicy. I liked it a lot. The ramps were tossed in salt, pepper, and olive oil. I grilled them for a couple of minutes. Some people call ramps wild leeks or wild garlic. The flavor of the ramps was the very best. The flavor of the grilled ramps was combination of roasted onions and garlic while being similar to a leek by lacking pungent flavors.
Fresh Tuna Salad
Devon White Pudding
Download The Recipe:
Fresh Tuna Salad (make eggs medium)
Fresh Tuna Salad (use butterhead lettuce, 1 cup of canola oil to make the vinaigrette, and drizzle the eggs with olive oil)
1. Thomas Keller: ad hoc at home (New York: Artisan, 2009), 147, 168, 179, 342.