This was written prior to me becoming vegan.
A couple of weeks ago, my eldest son Oliver, 5, and I, took part in an exciting shoot for the très stylish French online outlet, La Redoute, which merged three of my greatest loves: family, food and fashion.
Kindly commissioning me to share one of my all time favourite French recipes: warm Salad Nicoise, and model for their site and this blog, they also sent over a new wardrobe of my choice for both my sons and myself.
I am once again reminded of how lucky I am that blogging is my job. This was another dream collab for me, and Oliver and I had so much fun cooking together and getting ‘our pose on’ in the garden!
That morning, we made a trip to my favourite Leeds grocer ‘The Fruit Stall’ in Chapel Allerton to pick up the ingredients for the shoot.
Oliver sweetly carried a straw basket around the store for me, carefully selecting the longest green beans he could find, ruby red vine tomatoes, fresh gem lettuce, red onions and huge heads of garlic, stuffing them all into brown paper bags and watching in awe as everything was weighed and bagged for us.
Nothing quite compares to smelling and touching fresh fruit and veg and choosing your own, market-style, a joyous first part to our cooking extravaganza!
Conveniently, a few shops down, we stumbled upon a fishmongers: ‘Tarbett’s’, all monochrome, shiny tiles, bright lights, and the freshest fish in town.
We picked up two red, meaty fillets of tuna, an ample one for Mama, a ‘baby’ one for Oliver. Beautiful.
Once home, we embarked on an impromptu shoot dans le jardin (!) before getting stuck right in to chopping, preparing and cooking up a storm in the kitchen!
My trusty photographer husband Peter was on hand to shoot so it was definitely a family affair. Being part French too, this really was the perfect campaign for us all!
…For those not in the know (where have you been?!) La Redoute is an elegant style hub (French style made easy), featuring its own namesake collection along with many French favourites too.
For this project I’m wearing a feminine sleeveless Mademoiselle R neoprene dress in black with delicate bow detail, and a Laura Clement silk, black cardigan with lace inset I know I will just wear and wear.
Oliver is rocking a Breton striped long sleeved cotton tee (which comes in a pack of 2, the other being a cool graphic fish and chip printed short sleeved t shirt).
Jeans are a deep blue straight-cut coated denim jeans, all by La Redoute.
And now for the food-
Warm Salad Nicoise Recipe:
- 400g baby new potatoes, halved
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 200g green beans, ends chopped
- gem lettuce, washed
- a handful of tomatoes from the vine, washed and halved
- 1 red onion, sliced
- small handful black olives, stones removed
- small handful of capers
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- juice 1⁄2 lemon
- squeeze of red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- drizzle of mild olive oil for cooking
- 2 tuna fillets
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add the potatoes to a medium pan of boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.
In another 2 small pans boil the eggs (depending on how soft you like them-hard boiled 10-15 minutes) and cook the green beans.
On a griddle pan, drizzle mild olive oil and place the tuna to cook (10-15 minutes)
Tear the lettuce leaves and arrange in a bowl/ plate
Arrange the tomatoes, red onion and olives
Drain the potatoes and add.
Check the tuna is cooked to your liking (mine was medium rare so was removed earlier than Oliver’s whose was well done).
Slice the tuna with a sharp knife and add to the plate.
Scatter the black olives and capers.
For the dressing, stir or whisk the garlic, lemon, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Add some sea salt and ground pepper for yourself ( I poured Oliver’s without first). Pour over the salad and serve.
We made a smiley face for Oliver’s plate and omitted some ingredients he doesn’t like.
Et voilà, a tasty, nutritious meal for all the family.
So do you like our style and recipe?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments.