Is this really not just another recipe for Salade Niçoise? Of course it is! But I have a rather opinionated way to make this salad, and I’m always right. Ahem. Salade Niçoise (pronounced sah/lahd nee/swahz) is something we eat often in warm weather. I love it so much because it’s beautiful, easy to make, but it looks dang fancy.Jump to Recipe
Here are the rules for the perfect (IMHO) Salade Niçoise:
- Drinking a glass of nice wine with a French sounding name is ESSENTIAL for proper salade preparation.
- The eggs must be JAMMY.
- The vinaigrette must be made with GRAINY mustard.
- The tuna must be packed in OLIVE OIL.
- There must be DILL.
- You should include a surprising and colorful veg like WATERMELON RADISHES.
- There must also be something PICKLED. Last night it happened to be red onions.
- Absolutely DO NOT include tomatoes, unless they are gorgeous and in season.
What is a Salade Niçoise Anyway?
Salade Niçoise is a composed salad that originated in Nice, France. Usually containing some sort of fish like canned or fresh tuna or anchovies, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. It has been described as “simple food for poor people” and been around since the early 19th century.
My iteration is not just another Salade Niçoise recipe – it’s special. At least we think so. Here’s what we put in ours:
- Baby lettuces
- Poached green beans
- Cooked baby potatoes
- Kalamata olives
- Jammy eggs
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Pickled red onions
- Tuna packed in olive oil
- Lots of fresh dill
And the salad is topped with a delicious and garlicky grainy mustard vinaigrette!
How to Make a Perfect Jammy Egg Every Time
First bring a pot of water to a boil. Add your eggs (large), for this salad we made five. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and set a timer for 6 1/2 minutes. Adjust the temperature of the water to ensure it’s steadily, but calmly, boiling. After 6 1/2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the pot and immediately place them into a bowl full of ice water. Let the cool there for about 10 minutes, then carefully peel and slice the eggs. You’ll have perfectly jammy yolks, as pictured above.
How to Make the Best Garlicky Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette
As I mentioned above, a grainy mustard vinaigrette is an essential component to the perfect Salade Niçoise. It tastes delicious, plus it really looks beautiful when drizzled over the top of this composed salad.
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T whole grain mustard (make sure it’s gluten-free)
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, peeled & grated
- 1 teaspoon of honey, or to taste
- 1/4 cup of excellent quality EVOO
- salt & pepper to taste
Put the red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic and honey in a small jar (we use leftover jam jars). Put the lid on and shake to combine. Add the olive oil, put the lid back on, and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
So there you have it! Now you too can make this most amazing salad, the right way. Ha!
Are you a fan of Salade Niçoise? What do you put in yours?
LOVE SALAD FOR DINNER? TRY THESE OTHER RECIPES:
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Not Just Another Salade Niçoise Recipe
For the Salad
- 8 ounces of baby lettuces
- 16 ounces green beans stemmed
- 16 ounces of tiny new potatoes
- 5 large eggs
- 1 large watermelon radish thinly sliced (or a bunch of easter egg radishes, thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup fresh dill leaves
- 1, 9- ounce jar of pitted kalamata olives
- 2, 5- ounce cans of tuna packed in olive oil
- 1 red onion thinly sliced and quickly pickled or some other sort of pickle like cornichon
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Blanche the green beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender. Plunge into an ice bath and cool completely.
- Using the same pot of boiling water, make the eggs. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and set a timer for 6½ minutes. Adjust the temperature of the water to ensure it’s steadily, but calmly, boiling. After 6½ minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the pot and immediately place them into a bowl full of ice water. Let the cool there for about 10 minutes, then carefully peel and slice the eggs. The yolks will be quite jammy and soft set.
- Finally, using that same pot of boiling water, boil the potatoes. They will need to simmer for 8-10 minutes, depending on their size. When they are tender when pierced with a fork, remove from the water and plunge into an ice bath to cool.
- While everything is cooling, prepare the vinaigrette. Put the red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic and honey in a small jar (we use leftover jam jars). Put the lid on and shake to combine. Add the olive oil, put the lid back on, and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the salad. Line a large salad bowl with the baby lettuces. Carefully and evenly arrange the green beans, potatoes, olives, radishes, eggs, and red onions around the perimeter of the bowl. Gently mound the tuna in the center of the salad. Top everything with a generous sprinkle of fresh dill and a drizzle of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.