Niçoise Salad

It is Bastille Day today (National French Day).  Presenting a refreshing salad for the occasion.  Traditionally made with local olives, tuna and anchovies, this protein rich salad from Nice has become a staple all over France.  I absolutely love this salad, not only is it flavorful and appetizing, it is deliciously light yet quite satisfying on a  hot summer’s day.  I ought not to complain though, as this summer has been relatively bearable, so what’s a few days when temperatures feel like 100 degrees F?  On days like these, who needs to be slaving over a hot stove anyway?  So this salad was created.

This salad comes together with ease.  Fresh vegetables and fish? Pescatarian, I could easily live by.

It is quite versatile too, you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Niçoise Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad

  1. 2-3 cans of tuna
  2. 6 hard boiled eggs peeled and quartered lengthwise
  3. 1 1/4 pounds small young red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
  4. salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  6. 12 small cherry tomatoes halved
  7. 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  8. 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
  9. 1/4 cup olives
  10. 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed or several anchovies

Method

  1. In a jar, place the oil, lemon juice or vinegar, shallots, herbs and mustard.  Cover with a lid and shake until well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Place onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette.
  3. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Add 1 Tbsp of salt.  Heat on high to bring to a boil.  Cook for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.  Drain.  Place them in a bowl and dress them with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.
  4. Cook the beans till tender, but still firm to the bite.
  5. Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter.  Arrange tuna in center.  Sprinkle the tomatoes and onions around the tuna.  Arrange the potatoes and green beans at the edge of the lettuce.  (Or arrange as you like).
  6. Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives anchovies/capers in mounds on the lettuce bed.  Drizzle everything with the remaining vinaigrette.
  7. Serve immediately.  Should be served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Enjoying an al fresco style dinner with a glass of crisp white wine.  Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

22 comments

    1. It is such a lovely sald I agree. You’re right, so hard to find those olives. I love kalamata and had those in the pantry, so went with those – I like the black contrast too 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.

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  1. How refreshing, light yet filling this salad is. I love that you added tuna to this. Is it always presented like this or you toss every thing together. Maybe this way looks better.

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    1. Hello Ana, it’s always lovely to see you grace my blog. I do toss it all at the end, I guess it photographed better as you saw it, but yes, I drizzle the dressing over it and toss it. It’s got such wonderful, fresh flavors that are so welcome in this oppressive heatwave we’ve been experiencing.

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    1. Hi Judi, this definitely has been such a wonderful salad during this oppressive heatwave we’ve been experiencing. I believe I’ve made it about twice now. It’s something about the summertime that turns me off heavy meals, so salads sure step in – I love mixing fruit in some of my salads too. I hope you’re more settled now and enjoying your summer 🙂

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    1. You’ll definitely have to try it then Mollie. It is tres popular in France and originated there. Of course they do have the right olives there and that makes a load of difference. I hope you’re enjoying your summer and staying cool. 🙂

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  2. I’m just loving salads right now and this Nicoise salad looks so fresh and healthy and perfect for this too hot weather! My plants are throwing up their spindly little arms and waving the white flag. What the beetles don’t get anyway. I think I’m surrendering!

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    1. Isn’t this the pits Julie? Geez, I can’t stand the months of July/August. Although I shouldn’t complain as we have had some cooler days with the windows open a few weeks ago. I always tell myself that I’ll be complaining again in January/February 🙂 I hope you’re able to get rid of your Japanese Beetles. We used to have them when we lived in the suburbs, but somehow since we’ve moved, they did not follow us 🙂 The Nicoise salad is a must every summer for us. 🙂

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