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Friday, July 15, 2011

Try the Nutritious & Cleansing Niçoise

Sometimes I just crave a nutritious and cleansing dinner, especially near the end of the week when a fun-filled/food-filled weekend is fast approaching. I love salads but I usually prefer to pair them with protein or grains. There is one salad that pretty much has it all - an almost forgotten Niçoise Salad.  

Niçoise Salad
I like to think of Niçoise Salad as the "prettier" version of an American Cobb Salad (though I must admit that the Cobb is just as good). It is a specialty of Cote D'Azur and named for the City of Nice. If you find the salad tedious (in relation to other types of salads), you can prep for the dressing and most of the ingredients hours or the day before and store them in separate ziplock bags. All you have to do before you eat is cook the remaining ingredients and toss all of it in the herb-infused olive oil dressing!

Niçoise Salad (recipe from Simply Recipes)
Serves 4-6

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 cans of tuna
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
  • 10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/4 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1 small red onion, sliced very thin (soak in cold water for a few minutes to get rid of the sharp taste)
  • 8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives (you can substitue kalamata if you can't find niçoise, but they are usually available at the store's salad bar)
  1. Whisk lemon juice, oil, thyme, shallot, basil, oregano, and mustard in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Bring potatoes and 4 quarts cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon (do not discard boiling water). Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a large plate or serving platter (yes, I used a silver platter). Coat tuna with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato-onion mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange reserved potatoes in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
  4. Return water to boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and green beans. Cook until tender but crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain beans, transfer to reserved ice water, and let stand until just cool, about 30 seconds; dry beans well. Toss beans, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a mound at edge of lettuce bed.
  5. Arrange hard boiled eggs and olives in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, drizzle entire salad with more dressing (if there is any left), and serve immediately.


  1. fabulous salad!! i love jam packed nutrition in one plate. this is beautiful jessica!

  2. I always call such a salad main-course salad! I can absolutely eat it like a meal and feel good after that :)

  3. what a delicious healthy salad! I have always loved a good Nicoise salad, and was lucky enough to have one in Nice! Yours looks every bit as good!

  4. I love both salad Nicoise and Cobb salads. Yours looks so good that it's making me want to have it for dinner tonight.

  5. This salad really does have everything! Veggies, protein, and even some carbs. I agree, it's often forgotten, but it's a great salad when you want a light but balanced meal :) Would also make a great sandwich!

  6. Nicoise salad is one of my favorite salads. I have a recipe from my friend who used to go to Italian friend's cooking lesson. This is a perfect summer salad and your version looks fantastic too!!!

  7. You're right, the Nicoise salad is gorgeous! And definitely the perfect summer meal...love that tasty vinaigrette!

  8. I love Nicoise salad - it's a little bit of work to get all the components prepared but it's SO worth it.

  9. That's a healthy plate of gorgeous vegetables ... healthy salad is perfect for summer.

  10. This dish totally owns the prepackaged chicken cobb salad I had today at lunch. I'd be eating salads everyday if they were this good. Love those olives.

  11. That's so great. I made a nicoise salad for dinner last weekend too! I love all the components, and it looks so great on a platter.

  12. I would love this Nicoise salad which gives complete nutrition and minerals from eating only one dish.

  13. i love a good Nicoise salad. Yours sounds like a winner.Thanks for sharing Jessica

  14. Nicoise salad is one of those salads that obviously developed over time till it basically reached near perfection. The components of this classic just work so well together

  15. The salads look amazing!! I would love to try the Nicoise Salad! Thanks for sharing!!