Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise: a french treat with tuna and anchovies

Here’s a delicious and colorful salad that makes a whole meal… and it’s perfect to make with your fresh vegetables on a warm summer day.

There are a number variations of the Niçoise Salad, common in its namesake city, Nice, France, and along the rest of the Côte d’Azur, where I first enjoyed it.
Apparently it became popular in the states because of Julia Child.

Last night, in anticipation of this salad, my companion and I biked around our city to procure vegetables from the yard and from a little farmers’ market (4-7pm!).  After a nice summer evening’s ride with a short stop for live music and visiting friends, we prepared our ginormous Niçoise salad from these ingredients (for 4 meal-sized servings):

  • romaine and other leaf lettuce, torn to bite sized
  • Nasturtium leaves, chopped
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • scallion greens, from 2 scallions, finely cut
  • green beans, 1 pound, blanched (we substituted some nice Dragon Tongue Beans that surprising lost their purple stripes when cooked)
  • ripe roma tomatoes, 3, quartered and coarsely chopped
  • eggs, 4, hard-boiled, and quartered
  • fingerling potatoes (~1/2 pound), boiled (e.g., with the eggs)
  • green olives, pitted
  • tuna, 1 can, partially drained of oil
  • anchovy, about 2/3 of one very small jar

Dressing ingredients:

  • balsamic vinegar, 1 T.
  • apple cider vinegar, ~1/8 cup
  • Dijon-style mustard, 1-2 T. (e.g., Grey Poupon Country Dijon)
  • honey, ~1 t., to taste
  • olive oil, 1-2 T.
  • water (sparingly, to dilute slightly if desired)
  • capers
  • salt & pepper, to taste if desired

Niçoise Salad

To serve, we tossed the cooked beans with dressing, and placed them atop the chopped lettuce on a large platter and arranged the other toppings, leaving the tuna and anchovies for last, and finally lightly drizzled the salad with the rest of the dressing and olive oil.

Salade Niçoise, plated

I enjoyed this both for dinner and my subsequent day’s lunch. :)

Give it a try and experinece this tasty sample of southern France, especially if you can find some beautilful vegetables in your garden or at your farmers’ market!

Update (June, 2013):

I made this again… this time with the traditional green (string) beans and used a combination of pimento-stuffed spanish olives and jalapeno-stuffed olives. Also, I used a spicier Dijon mustard (Trader Joe’s)… mmm, still awesome.

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise

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