When France finally did produce an excellent sandwich it was, basically, salade niçoise in a baguette, a unifying of national triumphs that has been exceeded in culinary history on vanishingly few occasions.
|200g||tuna (packed in olive oil)|
|150g||French green beans or ‘fine’ beans|
|1 tsp||Dijon mustard|
|½||a clove of garlic|
|salt and pepper|
Slice the tomatoes into chunks and salt them moderately in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Put this to one side and allow the salt to draw liquid out of the tomatoes.
Drain the tuna and reserve the oil for the vinaigrette.
Top and tail your green beans, drop into boiling water for 3 minutes and then immediately plunge them into a bowl of cold water. Chop the beans into 2cm lengths.
Stone the olives if necessary and drain the anchovies.
Flake the tuna into the bowl with the tomatoes and any juice they’ve yielded and stir loosely to combine.
Start a vinaigrette with a small amount of Dijon mustard, the raw garlic, crushed, and drizzle in the oil from the tuna. Top up with straight extra virgin oil. Increase the acidity by adding lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If your lemon is sharp and devoid of sweetness, as most supermarket ones seem to be, don’t be ashamed to add a pinch of sugar, and if the olive oil has that oddly peppery burn, it can be ameliorated with the addition of a few drops of warm water.
Combine all the ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs and begin to toss together, adding the vinaigrette to your taste. Once you’ve got everything just right, glug in a healthy extra shot of vinaigrette.
Arrange the salad on the split loaf and top with the sliced hard-boiled eggs. Close up, wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and refrigerate overnight.
By the morning, a lot of the dressing will have soaked into the bread, creating an amazing texture. Slice into chunks through the paper and serve, still wrapped, accompanied by some way of wiping oil off your chin.