recipe

August 21, 2023

Niçoise salad

The Niçoise salad is a classic French salad. It’s always one when I think of entertaining in the Summer because it looks great on a platter and is versatile. 

Nicoise Salad

Nicoise Salad

Yield: 4

A bright salad filled with delicious garden tomatoes, green beans, eggs and beautiful briny salty olives topped with Tuna. Great for a party

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the grilled tuna

  • 4 oz Tuna steak per person
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the salad

  • 2 to 3 (5-ounce) cans tuna, drained, or 2 (8-ounce) grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks (see recipe note for cooking instructions)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 pounds small young red or fingerling potatoes
  • 1 pint small ripe cherry tomatoes or larger tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Niçoise olives (I also use Kalamata if I can't find Nicoise)

Instructions

Make the vinaigrette

In a mason jar, shake the vinegar, shallots, herbs, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make the tuna

  • Oil your tuna filet and season with salt and pepper
  • Grill 2 minutes per side for rare and slice into 1/4 inch strips

Make the salad

  • Cut the red onions into slices and marinate in the dressing while you are cooking the potatoes and the beans.
  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Heat on high to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 12 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Place them in a bowl, dress them with about 1/4 cup of vinaigrette, and set aside.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water, and add boil. Add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes (depending on the toughness of the beans you want them el dante). Drain and shock the beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, and drain.
  • Arrange the potatoes on a platter in a mound
  • Arrange the tomatoes with the red onion in a mound
  • Arrange the green beans in mounds at the edge of the lettuce.
  • Arrange hard-boiled eggs, olives in mounds
  • Dress the whole salad by drizzling the remaining vinaigrette
  • Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper
  • Lay tuna slices cut 1/4 inch thick on top of the salad

While there can be some variations, a traditional Niçoise salad usually includes the following ingredients:

1. Tomatoes: Fresh, ripe tomatoes are a key component of the salad, and when the garden is popping this is a great way to use them
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs: Sliced or halved hard-boiled eggs provide protein.
3. Olives: Black Niçoise olives, which are small and flavorful, are a defining feature but if you can’t find them Kalamata olives work well too
5. Tuna: Canned Albacore in oil or freshly cooked tuna are my choices
6. Green Beans: Blanched or steamed green beans are often included.
7. Potatoes: Boiled or steamed red or fingerling potatoes are my favorite
8. Red Onion: Thinly sliced red onions contribute a sharp flavor.
10. Olive Oil: A drizzle of olive oil is commonly used as a dressing.
11. Herbs: Fresh basil and oregano or thyme or tarragon are may go to herbs in this salad

The salad is typically arranged on a plate rather than tossed, allowing the individual ingredients to shine. 

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