A secret recipe from Richard Olney's "Provence the Beautiful Cookbook."
One of the principles of a salade niçoise is that it contain no cooked vegetables. A handful of shelled young broad (fava) beans or trimmed and thinly sliced baby artichokes, tossed in lemon juice and drained, may be added. Pan bagnet is salade niçoise enclosed in a bread roll, left to soak for a while and eaten as a sandwich. In this case the tomatoes, eggs and anchovy fillets should be chopped and the olives pitted.
1 small cucumber
1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
3 barely ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
2 Italian green sweet peppers or other sweet peppers (capsicums), seeded, deribbed and thinly sliced crosswise
3 or 4 young green shallots or green spring onions, including the tender green parts, thinly sliced
4 or 5 salt anchovies, rinsed and filleted
2 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and quartered lengthwise
handful of black olives
handful of fresh basil leaves
freshly ground pepper
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
Peel the cucumber and cut it half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, then cut crosswise into thin slices. Layer the slices in a bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid and sponge the slices dry.
A wide, shallow dish permits the most attractive presentation. Rub the dish all over with the cut surfaces of garlic. Scatter the cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, shallots, eggs, anchovy fillets and olives casually but artfully into the dish. Tear the basil leaves into fragments and scatter over the surface. Present the dish at table. Sprinkle on salt and grind over pepper to taste. Pour the olive oil in a fine stream back and forth over the surface. Toss and serve.
Jesse's note for boiling the eggs:
this is my technique, i call it "oeuf mollets + 2": bring to a full rolling boil about a quart of water, then put a glog or so of white vinegar, then you gently put in the eggs. time seven good minutes, then pull them out and run them in cold water for a while. peel them and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing them. the whites will should be firm and the yolks the consistency of jelly.