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Olivia de Havilland's Salad Nicoise

Since she lived to be 104 years old, Olivia certainly knew how to eat well and take care of herself!

The Recipe

The recipe is from and originated in the book "Great Performances In The Kitchen Recipes and Foodstyles of the Stars" (1988) by Johnna Blinn.

For the salad dressing: 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (or lemon juice) 6 tablespoons olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (more if desired) Several fresh tarragon leaves, snipped Mix together all the ingredients, blending well. Set aside until ready to assemble salad. To assemble the salad: 1/2 pound fresh small green beans, washed, trimmed, cut in 3-inch pieces 1/2 small red sweet pepper, cleaned, seeded, cut in thin strips 1/2 small green sweet pepper, cleaned, seeded, cut in thin strips 1 cucumber, peeled, sliced 2 cans (4 1/2 ounce) fillet of tuna, drained, cut in large chunks 3 tomatoes, peeled, cut in quarters 12 pitted black olives 1 sweet onion, peeled, cut in rings 2 hearts of lettuce, washed and crisped 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered

Chill beans; place in bowl with remaining ingredients except eggs. Arrange to form an attractive mixture in salad bowl. Garnish with eggs. Drizzle salad dressing over salad, adding additional amounts of salt and pepper to taste.

Afterthoughts: If desired, salad can be assembled on glass plate. Small peeled new potatoes, capers or chopped hearts of lettuce make delightful variations of this popular French classic. Delightful with light chilled white wine and sour dough bread and dessert of fresh strawberries dusted with confectioner's sugar!

Special Guest

Victoria Amador has taught at a number of universities in the United Kingdom, United States, and in other countries. She is the author of The Gothic Portal: An Online Resource for Academics And Aficionados Of Gothic Cultural Productions From 1976 To 2008, and a number of articles on the gothic in film and literature. Victoria is the author of Olivia de Havilland Lady Triumphant.

The Final Result

I've made a variety of things on Hollywood Kitchen from cookies to goulash, but this was my first attempt at making a salad. As usual, I pared down the recipe and made it for one person. I skipped the olives and onions, as I'm not a fan of either one. This prompted a friend to message me, "Mais non, Karie, ça ne se fait pas!" It was a joy talking about Olivia with Victoria Amador and re-watching several of her films this past week.

This is a picture of Olivia de Havilland at the 1988 Academy Awards in the red dress and jewelry that is now in Victoria's collection.


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