Niçoise Salad is a classic composed salad (like a Cobb) from the Nice region of France. The traditional flavors are tuna, anchovy, potatoes, tomatoes, niçoise olives, French green beans and hard boiled eggs.
I think the American expectation of Niçoise Salad includes a beautifully seared thick slab of ahi and, when ordering at a restaurant, I’m no exception. However, for a quick weeknight meal I like to keep things simple. Julia Child’s classic recipe for Salad Niçoise used tinned tuna so I don’t feel too scandalous using it here. On the other hand, using kalamata olives instead of niçoise olives probably is a scandal but I prefer the taste and they’re so much easier and less expensive to get a hold of. I also leave off the anchovies more for convenience than flavor so totally add them if it sounds tasty to you!
It seems like many steps but the eggs, green beans, potatoes and dressing can be prepared a day or two in advance to make this a quick weeknight dinner.
- olive oil - 3 tbs
- lemon juice - 1 tbs
- apple cider vinegar - 1 tbs
- shallots - 1 tbs, finely chopped
- Dijon mustard - 1 tsp
- fresh tarragon - 1 tbs, finely chopped
- sugar - a pinch
- salt and pepper - to taste
- solid white tuna - 1 12-oz can - don't use the chunk light crap!
- fresh tarragon - 1 tbs, chopped
- capers - 1 tbs, chopped
- Herbes de Provence - 1 pinch
- light mayonaisse - 1/2 tsp
- olive oil - 1/2 tsp
- salt and pepper - to taste
- potatoes - 1 lb
- haricot verts - 1 lb
- tomatoes - 2, diced
- olives - 4 tbs
- mixed greens - 8 cups
- eggs - 4
Combine the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
Prepare the green beans: Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a vigorous boil. Add the beans and cook 4-5 minutes until just tender. Taste frequently to avoid overcooking. When ready, plunge the beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Boil the eggs: OK, I know there are several popular methods and passionate advocates of each. Boil the eggs however you like to do it. I'm not qualified to join the fight. I use the method where I cover the eggs with cold water, bring the water to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Then I peel them under cold running water. Works for me.
Prepare the potatoes: Boil in salted water until just cooked through - anywhere between 15 - 30 minutes depending on their size. Slice them to the desired size, season with pepper, and combine them with a tablespoon of dressing and white wine, if desired. Set aside.
Prepare the tuna: Drain most of the liquid and put the tuna in a bowl and break apart chunks with a fork. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of dressing. Mix in capers, tarragon, oil, mayonnaise, Herbes de Provence, and season as necessary.
Compose the salad: Lightly dress the salad greens with dressing and place in a bowl. Top with tuna, diced tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, olives, and 2 halves of boiled eggs. Serve with additional dressing.
Calories: 455 ; Fat: 22.9 g; Saturated Fat: 4.4 g; Trans Fat: 0.0 g; Cholesterol: 186 mg; Sodium: 346 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 34.8 g; Dietary Fiber: 9.2 g; Sugars: 6.0 g; Protein: 30.6 g; Points: 10; Points Plus: 12;