As I write this, I am boiling eggs and sautéing sausages. These will be ingredients in tomorrow’s Salade Niçoise. Salade Niçoise is not part of my original family tradition. I come from a struggling middle class, midwestern family, whose meals hewed to that culture and those economics, but I graduated college on the cusp of Alice Water’s American food revolution. My friends and I began hosting our version of gourmet dinners. My boyfriend (eventual husband) gave me a subscription to the Time-Life Foods of the World cookbooks. That’s where I encountered Salade Niçoise. It is now part of my summer tradition.
Like all traditions the narrative evolves. As in the making of art, a recipe is subject to change. If a requisite ingredient is not available, a substitute will do, thus, the purple beans in my salad. (They turned green upon cooking).