College Kitchen: France

Foreign correspondent Yena Lee reports that France’s riverside Nice is, in fact, quite nice.

Nicoise cuisine is all about simplicity. With good quality ingredients, the Nicoise salad is simple, easy to make and fulfilling.

Yena Lee

Nicoise cuisine is all about simplicity. With good quality ingredients, the Nicoise salad is simple, easy to make and fulfilling.

by Yena Lee

The weather in Europe is getting a bit cold — a chilly 50 degrees, that is, not Minnesota-cold. And as the temperature drops, the prices of flights and lodging go down, a sign of the tourism season’s end.
 
Nice — pronounced like “niece” — is a part of the French Riviera. Tourists flock to the beach city from May to August. 
 
From mid-March to April and then again from September to October are the shoulder seasons, where the weather is still warm, but the town is emptier.
 
Nice has a completely different culture from that of other major French cities. 
 
As Nice is right by the water, seafood is a big part of the Nicoise cuisine. Nicoise food revolves around simple recipes with some of the best ingredients. The infamous salad is so simple to make, yet with some of the best ingredients, it’s refined and balanced.
 
Nicoise salad
 
Nicoise salad requires little preparation but will fill you up.
 
Two handfuls of salad greens
2 large tomatoes
1 small cucumber
1 small red onion
1/3 cup peeled fava beans
1/4 cup olives (Nicoise olives recommended)
2 hard-boiled eggs
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 anchovy filets or 2/3 can of tuna
Pinch of salt and pepper
 
1. Hard boil the eggs.
2. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, then salt and pepper them and set them aside.
3. Peel and seed the cucumber, then slice it into bite-size pieces. Then add pieces to a big bowl to prepare the salad.
4. Peel and thinly slice the red onion and add to the bowl.
5. Add the fava beans and olives. 
Note: Olives can be pitted or not — your preference.
6. Add the tomatoes to the bowl.
7. Before drizzling the olive oil in the bowl, season with salt and pepper. 
8. If using tuna, add it to the bowl before drizzling the olive oil. If using anchovies, add them after the olive oil.
9. Wedge the two eggs, place them on top of the salad and drizzle the remainder of the olive oil.
 
Crepes
 
They’re not a specialty in Nice, but they are tres, tres good. 
 
Wherever you go in France, crepes are a staple. 
 
Crepe batter
 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
4 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted 
butter, melted
 
Filling
 
Nutella
Fresh fruit
 
1. The easiest way to make the batter is to throw all of the batter ingredients into a blender until smooth. 
2. If a blender is out of your reach, add all of the dry ingredients together. In another bowl, add the wet ingredients. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones. Mix until smooth. 
3. Whether the batter is made by hand or 
machine, let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes before making crepes.
4. Use a 10-inch or 12-inch skillet over medium heat to make the crepes. 
5. Lightly coat the skillet with butter and let it warm up before pouring in about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of batter, and swirl it around the skillet for an even and thin crepe.
6. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown.
7. Once the bottom is golden brown, lightly loosen up the edges of the crepe and flip it over. Cook it for another minute. 
8. Repeat the process until all of the batter is gone.
9. To make Nutella and fruit crepes, add a tablespoon of Nutella and some fruit of your choice to each crepe. 
 
Then either roll the crepe or fold it halfway twice to form a triangle.