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The secret to Nicoise salad is a good, gutsy French dressing, and only use the best red, ripe tomatoes

Rachel Allen



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Mackerel Nicoise. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mackerel Nicoise. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mackerel Nicoise. Photo: Tony Gavin

Tuesday marks France's national day, Bastille Day, where Francophiles worldwide celebrate the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and a turning point in the French Revolution. A public holiday, July 14 is as celebrated as enthusiastically as St Patrick's Day is here, with carnivals, parties, parades, feasts and fireworks.

Many of us will be staying in Ireland this summer, so why not bring a little bit of France here and celebrate some of the classics of French cuisine on Irish soil?

One of my favourite summer salads has to be the salade Nicoise, which is originally from the city of Nice on the French Riviera. There are many different versions of this colourful dish, but most will contain haricots verts (green beans), hard-boiled eggs, tuna, olives, lettuce and a French dressing.