Monday, November 12, 2012

Salad Days

Salads! You can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em. Actually, yes you can. Whatever. But this post is about salads in Forest Hills. I was talking with a friend over the weekend who enthusiastically declared that the chicken salad at 5 Burros has rapidly become one of his staples. I agree -- it is indeed an awesome salad.

All that salad talk must've made an impression on me, because on Sunday, I took a leap of faith and tried the Nicoise Salad from La Boulangerie. Of their three salads: Garden, Chicken and Nicoise, this had been the only one I still hadn't tried. While I am a big fan of the other two, you can only have the same salad for so long before you need a change.

I remember the friendly, helpful owner of La Boulangerie had once suggested I try the Nicoise salad. If only he hadn't asked me: "Do you like anchovies?" Just so happens anchovies are one of the few foods I have not only disliked, but actually feared. Along with these little fish, the Nicoise Salad contains hard boiled egg, roasted potatoes, tuna, string beans, onions, tomatos, lettuce and topping it all off a house vinaigrette dressing.

But feeling adventurous on Sunday, I took the Nicoise Salad plunge. I decided 'what the hell? What's the worst that can happen?'

I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Not only was this salad exceptionally delicious, but I even conquered my fear, actually eating it with most of the anchovies. And I'm really glad I did. All the ingredients come together perfectly to make for one of the more memorable salad-eating experiences I have ever had. Special kudos for their perfectly-flavored vinaigrette dressing which really serves to unite the flavors of all the ingredients, complementing them all without overwhelming them.

As an extra bonus, I felt pretty full for much of the rest of the day and realized this is one of those rare meals that is pretty healthy, and filling, at the same time.

I look forward to my next Salad Nicoise from Boulangerie. Magnifique!


  1. FYI, the proper name and spelling for this classic dish is Salade Niçoise (cé cédilla). It's a descriptive term for dishes developed by chefs in the City of Nice, France. Julia Child popularized the dish for Americans back in 1970 on her PBS series "The French Chef" and its been a staple of bistros ever since. There are many variations and so don't feel bad if you leave the anchovies out. Personally, I prefer them emulsified into the vinaigrette instead of whole fillets.

  2. watch out for the small ptited olives in the nicoise salad. it'll break your teeth.

  3. I'm surprised. i used to have them all the time and they were never depitted. someone must have broken a tooth.