It doesn’t get much classier than a Niçoise Salad in my extremely biased opinion. I love garbage salads for dinner, but a niçoise salad is more than just the sum of its parts. Beautifully composed and balanced, it makes the perfect summer dinner. Not familiar with Niçoise salad? It is the traditional French salad featuring tuna, olives and a vinaigrette. And with minimal cooking required, it is easy to throw together on a hot evening or even to pack for weekday lunches. My version is simple, delicious and filling.
Simple salads need quality ingredients, so this is the time to pick up high quality canned tuna. Sure, you can sear fresh fillets, but the Italian canned tuna packed in olive oil is really delicious. Fresh green beans are available now, so pick them up if they are available. I frequently use the thin French haricot verts from Costco, but I will always pick seasonal produce when available. I have not had much luck sourcing niçoise olives, but I think kalamatas work just as well. Anchovies are a traditional addition, but I don’t think they are critical. I also loves adding cucumbers and tomatoes, or really any veggie that adds some color.
And now for a philosophical debate: hardboiled eggs. Despite their prominent role in a traditional salade niçoise, they are not part of my salad plate. Everyone has food issues, be it allergies are foods that just gross them out, and I am not an egg person. Notice, you will never see a frittata or anything topped with a fried egg on CookingOnions.com. I am not an egg eater. So in this recipe, I will consider hardboiled eggs to be optional. I will add an egg to Z’s salad if we have some, mostly because I don’t want her to have my egg-related issues. I’ll let you decide how to proceed.
I know it isn’t trendy, but I love using my microwave to avoid heating up the kitchen during the summer. I would encourage you to try steaming your green beans and potatoes in the microwave, just remember to check frequently for doneness. As usual, The Kitchn has a good tutorial here. Do whatever you find easiest!
*Note – I used the fanciest Spanish tuna that I could find while testing this recipe. Not only does it taste amazing, but it is much prettier. And cheap tuna looks like cat food. That is all.
|Salade Niçoise|| |
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 handfuls mixed lettuce
- 4 small red potatoes, cooked and at room temperature
- 2 handfuls of green beans, lightly steamed and at room temperature
- 1 5 oz can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
- a handful of pitted kalamata olives
- 2 hard boiled eggs, halved (optional)
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Arrange all ingredients together on a plate, and top with vinaigrette.