Wednesday, September 28

What I ate: Nicoise Salad

I first discovered Nicoise salad last summer when I took the plunge and ordered it from FRED
I had heard of it prior to that occasion but had never actually had the opportunity to give it a try. 

It was delicious, I was hooked.  
We ate it once a week for the entire summer.

Usually the idea of a salad as a main course makes me cringe. I've tried to do it, but always end up hungry again within the hour regretting my attempt at being dainty as my growling stomach rarrrrrs and arrrggs for the rest of the night. However, Nicoise salad has so much to it (potatos, fish, egg) that I am sufficed for hours following the meal. I didn't have any on hand but usually, I like to serve the salad with a slice of french bread which makes it all even better.

1 large head of Boston lettuce
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/3 cup basic vinaigrette (below)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
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
1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Serves 6

Put the potatoes on to cook, and the eggs on to boil. Once each are finished, set aside to cool. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Clip the ends off the green beans and cut into inch-long pieces. Boil for 2 minutes and then plunge into cold water. Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper. Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette. 

Prep the eggs, capers, olives and parsley. 

Arrange all ingredients on plate in a way that you think looks nice. 
Once you've got everything on there, add the tuna and then drizzle with dressing and serve with french bread.

1/2 Tbsp finely minced shallot or scallion
1/2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp wine vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 cup excellent olive oil, or other fine, fresh oil
Freshly ground pepper

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.

There are many variations on Nicoise Salad, all of them delicious. 
For this meal I tried to not vary any of the ingredients. 
The one change I did make was using kalamata olives rather than nicoise olives. I know, right? It's only the essence of the salad! My reason for the switch is that I really enjoy olives and kalamata are meatier than nicoise, so I like them more.

I used a mesclun mix with romaine lettuce because I had it on hand.

This recipe is for 6. I did not check that when I started. 
For two people: I used 3 eggs, half the potatoes and kept everything else the same.


  1. This salad looks delish!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. omg thanks for inspiring me! I am going to go attempt this RIGHT NOW except I do not have wine vinegar for the dressing... only rice vinegar and regular... I guess 1/2 tablespoon of regular wont drastically negatively alter the outcome?? *Crosses fingers*



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