Summer Salad from French Catalonia

Hot summer days demand cool salads and one couldn’t do better than the one I first encountered in the village of Collioure in southern France. There I had a salade Collioure, Collioure being a small French Catalan fishing village on the Côte Vermeille, the coastal Mediterranean of the French province of Roussillon which is considered a part of Languedoc, but is also a part of historic Catalonia.  Today, this little gem of a harbor is populated with tourists, but in the twelfth century the large castle overlooking the town was built by the Majorcan kings and it provided protection for this tiny but strategic port.  Little beaches are sprinkled around the coast and outdoor cafes always offer this colorful salad, also called salade catalane.  It is a pleasant and light salad identical to the Tunisian salāṭat Tūnisiyya bi’l-tifāḥ.

Salade Collioure
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: French Catalonia-Roussillon
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the salad:
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, torn into pieces
  • ½ head radicchio, torn into pieces
  • One 6-ounce can tuna in olive oil
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
  • 6 salted anchovy fillets, rinsed and cut in half
  • 1 small red potato, boiled until tender, drained and cut into eighths
  • 20 black olives
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 small finely chopped garlic clove
Instructions
  1. Arrange the lettuce and radicchio attractively on a large serving platter. Scatter the remaining salad ingredients decoratively around and on top of the lettuce. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, and pour over the salad, and serve.

 

Grilling a Big-Ass Steak

Grilled beef tri-tips with meat thermometer

The best reasons for grilling a big-ass steak this summer is it’s easy, it’s perfect for a larger party, and it’s impressive, something party guests love. First, about easiness. One builds a charcoal fire and once all the coals are white hot lay a beef tri-tip on the grill, using a meat thermometer so you can have a perfectly grilled hunk of meat. If you like you can use a dry rub of your choosing although I find it’s not really necessary. If you use a rub, leave it on for 24 hours. Grill on high direct heat on  both sides, about 6 minutes in all. Remove the tri-tip to indirect heat and grill until 130 degrees F internal temperature taken with a quick read meat thermometer, which will take about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with garlic bread, beans, pico de gallo, and a tossed salad if desired. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice in half. Slice the “tail” or narrower portion with the grain, and the other portion against the grain.

What makes a grilled tri-tip great for a party is the meat comes off the grill and the designated carver begins slicing the end for those who like medium-rare to medium while the interior slices are rare to medium-rare. One only needs to slice the amount one needs to serve everyone on the first round, so the larger chunk of meat can stay warm. It’s impressive for party guests because no one would grill a trip-tip for oneself–it’s just too big.

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