Sauce Niçoise

Sauce Niçoise

Recently the local newspaper, Nice Matin, wrote about a 24-year old talented chef from Nice, Julia Sedefdjian, who only a year after opening her restaurant Baieta in Paris got a Michelin star. The menu in her restaurant reflects her roots in Nice. One of the dishes is her version of bouillabaisse; steamed fish served with sauce niçoise.

But what is sauce niçoise? Julia’s recipe is of course her secret so I googled sauce niçoise and it seems that there are several versions with different vegetables. I tried and modified different French recipes and settled with the following recipe which I think goes best with white fish fillets and at the same time reflects the choice of typical ingredients here in Nice.
By all means add some seafood to your choice of baked or steamed white fish fillets if you wish your dish reflect more bouillabaisse. You can also use more anchovy fillets if you like. I used them sparingly because I didn’t want them to overpower the delicate taste of fletan, halibut, which was my choice of fish. Serve your fish with some greens and new potatoes, lentils or grains. In the photo, the fish is served with wilted spinach and panisses, local chickpea cakes.

2 servings sauce niçoise

2 small and tasty tomatoes
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
4 anchovy fillets
4 black olives, pitted
2 tbsp. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Dip the tomatoes into boiling water for 1- 2 minutes, then peel and coarsely chop them. In a small casserole, warm olive oil over medium- low heat. Peel and chop the shallot and peel and mince the garlic. Add them to the casserole and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, anchovies, olives, and black pepper. You can first soak the anchovies in water for 10 minutes to reduce the amount of salt in them.

Let all the ingredients simmer for 5 minutes. With a hand-held mixer, purée the sauce. It will be quite thick, you can add 1- 2 tbsp. of boiling water if you wish. Place the fish on the plates and divide the sauce around it.


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