I’ve seen pictures of Niçoise Salads my whole life—and happily I am finally getting around to making one. Hailing from the town of Nice, it’s a French classic that chef Gordon Ramsey once called “the finest summer salad of all.” (source: BBC Good Food).
The salad isn’t difficult to make, especially if you use canned tuna. Happily this is considered perfectly appropriate, as it’s both economical and efficient! Hey, I’ve even been known to buy boiled, peeled eggs at the grocery store in a pinch (shhh)!
Step by Step Overview
How easy is that!
If you browse Nicoise Salad recipes online you will see a fair amount of variation. While certain ingredients like tuna, green beans, eggs and potatoes are almost universal, there are a lot of different add-ons.
Yes, one of the nice things about a Nicoise Salad is that it is perfectly acceptable–even expected–to include additional seasonal vegetables. This time I added cucumbers—which I personally wouldn’t do again since I felt they didn’t stack up flavor wise. But next time I may go with artichokes, sliced mini-peppers and perhaps a spoonful of capers!
Yes, There’s Anchovy in the Dressing
The dressing contains a little bit of mashed anchovy, which adds a nice umami flavor. I know you may think you don’t like anchovies—but a little in a dressing is different than finding them stretched out across your pizza.
Omit them if you must. But let me tell you this–many avowed anchovy haters have unknowingly eaten my anchovy enhanced Caesar Salad for decades–and loved it.
What do I serve with a Nicoise Salad?
Since this salad has plenty of protein, carbs and veggies, nothing else is really needed to make a complete meal—isn’t that great! But if you are serving especially hungry guests, a crusty bread is always welcome. French bread, of course.
In terms of wine (you weren’t thinking of serving a French salad with beer were you?), rosé seems to be the all around favorite–though some recommendations go as bold as a Pinot Noir.
And in case this has put you in the mood for some more French food, check out the recipes from some of my blogging friends below.
- 8 ounces yellow potatoes (about 4 medium)
- 8 ounces fresh green beans
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup pitted Niçoise or Kalamata olives
- 1 head Boston lettuce
- 2 cans tuna in oil, drained
- 1/2 c olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine (may sub lemon or additional wine vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 anchovies, mashed (or about ½ teaspoon anchovy paste)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped herbs (basil, thyme, tarragon or blend)
- 1 garlic clove, pressed in garlic press
- 1 small shallot, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Cut potatoes in halves, thirds or quarters, depending on size. Boil in a medium saucepan until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool in cold water.
- In a second saucepan, boil green beans until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool in cold water.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients (or place in a shaker jar and shake) until emulsified.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs.
- Clean and spin dry the lettuce, tear and set as a bottom layer on an oval serving plate. Drizzle with dressing.
- Arrange the other salad ingredients on top of the lettuce and drizzle with remaining dressing (or serve on side if you prefer).
Get More Fabulous French Recipes:
- Beet Goat Cheese Savory Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Green Beans with Crispy Onions from Palatable Pastime
- Haricot Vert Saladfrom Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Nicoise Salad from Art of Natural Living
- Piperade from Magical Ingredients
- Easy Rhubarb Custard Pie
- Dark Chocolate Ice Cream