Cookit! Salad Nicoise
French dish from Le Lafayette in Naples
Photo by CARRIE WISE // Buy this photo
375 13th Avenue South, Naples, FL
NAPLES — Sabastien Maillard, chef and co-owner, of Le Lafayette French Gourmet, 375 13th Ave. S., Naples, 403-7861, will put everyone in the mood for Bastille Day, the French national holiday, by making a salad nicoise on the Cook It! video and offering the recipe so we can all make our own cooking a little French.
Maillard and his sister Astrid are co-owners of the restaurant they opened in 2001 with 55 seats and expanded to 150 seats and a full bar this past December. Food is in the Maillard genes, according to Maillard. Brother and sister are the fifth generation of their family to own or work in a restaurant. Their grandfather was a chef on the Ilse de France
What is your inspiration? This is my passion, not a job. When you wake up to go to your passion you are never tired. I arrive here at 7:30 a.m. in season, and if it wasn’t my passion it would be difficult. There is nothing else I would ever do.
What do you think is your success? We always use fresh and the best quality ingredients. We try to work with local purveyors to keep the community growing, but also get specialty items from abroad.
How do you celebrate Bastille Day? We will have a traditional menu today with appetizers of pate and charcuterie, an entree of leg of lamb with fresh haricot vert and tomato Provencal and an upside down apple tatin for dessert served with a glass of wine for $38 per person.
What is the most popular item on your menu? Our guests enjoy the escargot appetizer, and as a main dish the Dover sole, which we have flown in fresh three times a week, is very popular. We change or tweak the menu twice a year. We get new recipes when we visit France every year and keep to the traditional French cuisine.
Do you do anything else at the restaurant? I give hands-on cooking classes at 10:45 a.m. every Tuesday that includes lunch and a glass of wine for $29.50. We have a small group so everyone enjoys themselves.
Escarole and curly lettuce, such as Boston lettuce
10 ounces cherry tomatoes
1 large can tuna
3 hard boiled eggs
20 black olives
8 boiling potatoes
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped parsley and chives
10 fresh basil leaves
12 fillets of anchovies
1 fresh red pepper, with the seeds taken out
6 ounces fresh green beans
1 red onion (optional)
■ Cook the potatoes to steam about 10 minutes.
■ Cook the green beans about five minutes in boiling water.
■ Let the potatoes and green beans cool.
■ Wash the tomatoes, lettuce and the red pepper.
■ Thin out the lettuce and arrange it in a bowl.
■ Cut the cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
■ Drain the tuna and separate into slices.
■ Cut the potatoes, green beans and red pepper into slices and add to the bowl.
■ Place the filets of anchovies on top of the salad.
■ Peel the eggs and cut into four pieces and to the salad with the black olives.
■ Mix the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and chopped parsley and chives together in a small bowl and pour over the salad and mix.
■ Garnish with whole basil leaves.
■ Serves four.