Niçoise salad just the good parts

I really wanted to make myself dinner tonight but there were two problems. Problem one was, I could not in good conscience buy *anything* because I’m about to be gone for more than a week. Problem two was that there was nothing in the fridge because I just got home. My itinerary goes/went: Mexico, Maryland, Morocco, and then at some point early in the new year, back to Moscow. It’s impressive, right, all this globetrotting? Except it’s not, when you put it in its proper context of: I have basically never left the country before (well, France at 13. And, hey, Canada!) So of course all this traveling is having the expected effect of broadening my horizons and making me think all sorts of clichéd deep thoughts.

Like: People are always saying “Whoa, small world!” about different predictable flow-charty confluences that happen in New York. But the actual world is not small at all. What is small: the cohort of college-educated people ages 22-45 who live and work in New York City who didn’t grow up here but hope to continue to live here as adults. That shit is tiny. And looking up at the stars on the beach in a Mexican fishing village last week, I thought about how different New York might be if we could look up and see everything else that’s out there, sparkling right in front of our faces on a regular basis.

Anyway, this is what I ended up eating based on the contents of my fridge/larder, and it might gross you out but I was really into it.


handful (5 or 6) fingerling potatoes

1 can oil-packed Italian tuna

1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped

3 eggs

capers, Niçoise or kalamata olives, anything of that nature you have in the condiments part of your fridge


1/2 shallot, finely chopped

decent-sized spoonful of dijon mustard

red wine vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper


Come home from last-minute Christmas shopping hungry and strangely frantic. Consult the to-do list you made today. The fact that you did something as uncharachteristic as making a to-do list is a bad, bad sign. Sit down for a minute at the computer to make sure everything is sort of baseline okay. An hour later, starving, get up from the computer and go put a pot of water to boil on the stove.

Also make a bowl of icewater by putting ice into water in a bowl!

When the water is boiling, gently slip three eggs in and boil them for like 12-14 minutes with the aid of the timer function on your new Timex indiglo digital watch that is exactly like the first watch you ever owned, and which will help you be on time to things like an adult and is an awesome gift for anyone you know who would appreciate a Japanese-imported plastic watch. It comes in a little neon coffin at Opening Ceremony. When you’ve removed the eggs to their ice-bath, stick the potatoes in that same boiling water. Why not? Boil them for 10 minutes or until tender but not falling apart.

While this is happening make the dressing and buy your train ticket back from Maryland. Why did you leave this til the last minute? Now everything is retardedly expensive. Well, whatever, it’s not like you would otherwise have spent that money wisely — for example, that same plastic watch sans fancy Japanese packaging and cool plastic-color is $24.99 at Target, you’ll find. Anyway, the dressing: whisk the chopped shallot, the salt and pepper, the mustard and the vinegar together, then slowly drizzle in the oil until it’s emulsified.

When the potatoes are done, remove the eggs from icebath, add more ice to it, and add the potatoes. Then drain and chop both eggs and potatoes and add them back into the bowl with the parsley, the capers, the olives, the dressing, and the can of tuna! Your cat will go to any lengths to try to eat this, so don’t set it on the floor in front of the tv while you pour yourself a glass of wine from that bottle in the fridge that you’re obligated to finish because by the time you get back into town, it will definitely have gone bad.

Serves one. Watching a Paula Deen Christmas special while eating it is optional.

23 comments to Niçoise salad just the good parts

  • Matt

    Pshh. You call that last minute? Last minute is buying your ticket from the kiosk as you run to make the train. As I did on Thanksgiving. As I’m doing tomorrow. I just hope I don’t have to take the expensive ass Acela. :P


  • heather-m

    I admire how your itinerary was brought to us by the letter ‘M’.

  • margo

    it is really profoundly pathetic that you’ve only now discovered that a world exists outside of new york.

  • “But the actual world is not small at all.”

    Only hearts and minds are small. The world is large; it contains multitudes.


  • emily

    @heather-m, i know, i was going to make a liz gilbert joke but decided not to!
    @margo — more or less pathetic than leaving mean blog comments though?

  • Eric

    @margo – seriously? what are you doing here?

  • nice!
    this post is what I wanted for christmas. happy holidays-

  • I love these recipe posts, but I think I’ve already told you that like 85 times. I plan to make this for my first meal back in the city. Travel safely and have a fabulous time!

  • Rebecca A.

    Yummy. Another fun recipe post.

    Happy Holidays!

  • goof tropp

    Amazing. That’s the thing about rich white college graduates in NYC. You can actually be fooled into believing into their ridiculously large level of self importance, until you step outside and realize how insignificant they are. Now imagine if you weren’t just going on yoga retreats, first world cities, and four star hotels. My suggestion is to get a little farther off the beaten track. Ethiopia will fuck your head up good. you need it.

  • sean carman

    Travel tip: Consider the Bolt bus. $25 each way, comfy, and doesn’t take that much longer. Plus: free, spotty, on-board wi-fi.

  • When I first met my wife, all that she had in her kitchen was gatoraid mix…

  • That sounds fucking delicious. Lettuceless salads (i.e. pasta salads) are my favorite thing ever.

  • Dave

    Is it true that you used to be a mermaid in that club in Chelsea? God that’s fucking hot.

  • Tim

    The best thing about the potato/potatoe? (Oh, god! Another Dan Quayle moment) salad is that it serves ONE. Every cookbook I’ve come across* erroneously assumes that everybody is either dating/engaged/newly married or has a family of four. Maybe the obesity pandemic in America is simply the result of poorly authored cookbooks, or maybe it can be blamed on corpulent chefs who have forgotten what realistic-sized portions are because they love to eat their work so much.

    Either way, somebody needs to do justice to all the single folk out there. Maybe Emily Gould will be the one who saves us from the culinary fascists.

    *The Strand is glutted with almost every kind of cookbook (Rachael Ray, The Naked Chef, NYTimes cookbook, etc.) except cookbooks for individuals.

  • Rebecca A.

    This is why I would never have a blog myself, although I love reading this one. Everyone takes some little thing E says and exagerates it and makes judgments and assumes she is defined by the extreme rendition of this or that one post she wrote when by the time they finish responding to it, she did not even write what they are responding to anyway. How maddening.

    Augh. That and the pressure to try to make sense all the time.

    What’s this about you being a mermaid?

  • Choire

    That’s weird, “goof tropp,” are you writing from a internet cafe in Addis Ababa? I hope the humid weather does something good for your crazy bitter problem.

  • Eric

    goof tropp and margo are saving the world, apparently. but found time to comment on emily’s blog. i hope no one died while they were otherwise engaged.

    oh, and more recipe posts, please!

  • True story.

    A couple of years ago I was covering an “open call” for new mermaids at The Coral Room (the mermaid bar in Chelsea) for ABC news and, while the crew was setting up the lights, cameras, etc. a very pretty red-head sidled up to me and insisted emphatically that she HAD to be chosen as one of the new mermaids. She didn’t just suggest that she had a good chance at beating out the other girls, or that she really wanted the job: she adamantly demanded that she be chosen (she mistakenly thought I was one of the people who would make the decision.)

    Amused, I played along, and asked her exactly why she was so confident that she should make the cut.

    She quickly slipped off her jeans to reveal a g-string-clad bottom and a pair of very pretty legs…completely covered in “Little Mermaid” tattooed scales.

    She confessed that the past couple of years had been, uh, transformative for her (to say the least!) and that she was finally coming to terms with her, um, evolutionary true identity. As a mermaid.


    Anyway, I don’t remember if she got the job or not (I think she did but quit soon afterwards) and I wanted to do a piece about her but after a couple of random emails she dropped off the face of the earth and I never heard from her again.

    But I never forgot that one!

  • vacmickey

    Less cooking, more hot mermaid stories.


  • David

    I loved my indiglo watch and now have a more expensive imitation. My wife wonders why I where my watch to bed: So l always know where I am in the nights voyage.

  • @Hal Jay Greene
    Um, do you think maybe you would like to have your own blog?

  • @Bill

    I think I’m usually “on-topic” on Em’s blog, I try not to spam her.

    And yeah, I’d like to have my own blog some day (I have the URL and the hosting and the WP software and, and the funny hat and everything!)

    I’m just terrified of starting it. I’ve lost enough lifecycles to other obsessive/compulsive pursuits to recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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