It’s not too often you find a meal as well balanced, or a salad so hearty and satisfying as a Niçoise Salad. It’s got leafy greens and beans, it’s got olives and tuna for some healthy fats, ascorbic acid (vitamin c) in the tomatoes, protein from the tuna and eggs, and a variety of good vitamins and minerals in the potatoes.
This is one hearty salad – we often eat salads as side-dishes in the U.S., but this one is easily a full meal by itself. Satisfying, with a variety of textures and flavors; some salty, some tangy, some savory, some fresh green – it is delicious and will fill you up.
You can vary the ingredients some – it often calls for anchovies, and sometimes just has a standard vinaigrette dressing, for instance. In this case, we used canned tuna, as our neighborhood fish market was out of tuna, but you could also get a small albacore tuna steak and pan-fry it until just done through. You can vary the dressing as well, adding more vinegar if you like it tart, less mustard if you want a lighter dressing, more sugar or even some honey if you want it a bit sweeter.
As always, play around with it and make it just how you like it.
- Butter lettuce
- Eggs (1 per person)
- Potatoes (2 small or 1 large per person)
- Green beans
- Fresh peas
- Olives (we used castelvetrano, traditional would be niçoise olives)
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 big pinch dry dill
- 1 tsp sugar
- Wash and dry your lettuce, and arrange on serving plates or in bowls.
- Trim your green beans.
- Put a shallow pot of water on to boil, and fill a bowl with cold water and (preferably) ice cubes.
- Once the water boils, blanch your green beans and peas (separately) for just about 1 minute, until they brighten in color, but don’t soften.
- Scoop them out and place them in the bowl of cold water to chill and stop the cooking.
- Pit the olives if you need to, and also cook the tuna if you need to.
- Slice the tomatoes in half if using cherry tomatoes, or in chunks if using large tomatoes.
- Arrange all the ingredients on top of the lettuce.
- In a small jar with a lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar (3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar), mustard, shallot, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and sugar. Put on the lid and shake well until all ingredients combine.
- Taste the dressing and adjust ratios or seasoning as needed.
- Pour dressing over the salads, and serve!