Everyone’s heard of Salade Niçoise, it’s eaten at a million tables all over the world every summer. However if you come a little inland you’ll find that most regions of France have their own summer speciality. Some, like the Niçoise, can be found on restaurant menus all year round. Quercynoise is one of those select few. Absolutely local, totally delicious and just as welcome in the winter as an hors d’oeuvre, as during the summer as a lunch dish.
This is my version, but you don’t want to be too strict with the ingredients. Use what is freshest in the markets that morning.
Serves Six as a Lunch Dish or Eight as an Hors d’Oeuvre
1 Frisee Lettuce, Washed
1 Chicoree or Cos Type Lettuce, Washed
24 Cherry Tomatoes – Preferably from Marmande
200g Walnuts, Shelled
300g Gesiers Confits
100g Magret de seche fume
200g Foie Gras
100ml Walnut Oil
1 Fresh Lemon
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Take the outer leaves off the lettuces and save for a soup or a pasta sauce. Chop the rest roughly and give another thorough wash. Leave to drain.
Slice the tomatoes in half and mix with the drained lettuce. Pour about 100ml of walnut oil into a cup and add the juice of a whole lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and toss with the salad.
Divide the salad between the plates and sprinkle each with an equal portion of gesiers confits, sliced Magret and walnuts.
Carefully slice the foie gras into as many slices as you have guests. Cut each slice in two and place one on each side of the beautifully arranged salads and serve.
This dish goes well with a splendid bottle of Cahors wine, and a warm baguette or two. It is equally good with the local walnut bread, especially in winter.