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Fast & Easy DInner: Salad Nicoise

Fast & Easy DInner: Salad Nicoise

When I was in Nice, France, I was mildly surprised to see that a large chunk of the salads on menus were Nicoise salads - especially because Nicoise is a French phrase that means "as prepared in Nice." Dishes a la Nicoise generally include tomatoes, black olives, and garlic. The quintessential salad contains these basics and additional tasty, fresh ingredients like green beans, tuna, and hard boiled eggs. Traditionally the salad is made with anchovies, but you can omit them if you like. The recipe also calls for a homemade vinaigrette, but you can easily substitute your favorite oil and vinegar based dressing if you are short on time. This hearty salad is a meal on its own - one that is perfect when paired with a French white or bubbly. To get the recipe,

Salad Nicoise
From Julia Child
Image Source

For salad:
1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 "boiling" potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked
Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets, optional
1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
For Vinaigrette:
1/2 tablespoon finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-type mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

  1. Make vinaigrette: Either shake all the ingredients together in a screw-topped jar, or mix them individually as follows. Stir the shallots or scallions together with the mustard and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice and vinegar, and when well blended start whisking in the oil by droplets to form a smooth emulsion. Beat in freshly ground pepper. Taste (dip a piece of the salad greens into the sauce) and correct seasoning with salt, pepper, and/or drops of lemon juice.
  2. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.
  3. Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper.
  4. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.
  5. Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals. Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each if using.
  6. Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.

Serves 6.

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Join The Conversation
lostjater lostjater 10 years
When I was in Nice, and had friends who were born and raised there, I saw this salad alot. I really don't recall the potato in it. I for sure remember them always adding corn. I have seen different variations, but the key is the dressing ( and the strong mustard you put in it). Tuna, egg, tomato, olive for sure. I always saw it on endive. But this sounds just as wonderful.I haven't had it in years.Thanks
goodduckie goodduckie 10 years
i definitely needed this recipe... i make boring salads..hubby's gonna be surprised! thanks :)
saffy1227 saffy1227 10 years
looks delish
laurafox laurafox 10 years
For some reason, I've always been afraid to try Salad Nicoise (maybe I was just too young), but this recipe makes it sound really good! Thanks!
Giasbash6260 Giasbash6260 10 years
I love this kind of salad; except for the potatoes!!
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
Love making this. It's a great, easy standby dinner.
NdHebert NdHebert 10 years
Thats such a fake-out as Racheal Ray would say! Invite over some friends for some Salad Niçoise and Wine and they will think you are a culinary pro! You can make this SO pretty.
vina vina 10 years
Awesome- I love salade niçoise!
Tech Tech 10 years
Love it. Thanks for the recipe.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
mmmm! i love eggs so much! salads are so fun and light! i'll have to give this a try sometime
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