Today we are featuring one of the classic French “salade composée” (composed salad) recipes: recette de la salade Niçoise (salade Nicoise recipe).
Art of the Home Salade Composée: Salade Nicoise Recipe
Art of the Home salad composée du Jour is a variation on the traditional salade Nicoise recipe. The traditional salade Nicoise recipe typically calls for raw green beans but we prefer them cooked so we revised accordingly. This famous salad originated in the South of France (you guessed it, in Nice on the French Riviera!) but is served in bistros all over France — especially in the summer. As with most French composed salads, salade Nicoise is served as a starter or as a nutritional light lunch and dinner. The salade Nicoise recipe is quick and easy to follow, especially if your prepare some of the ingredients ahead of time. So check our Art of the Home recipe and suggestions below for a quick trip to Nice! Enjoy and bon appétit!
Recette de la Salade Niçoise (salade Nicoise recipe)
INGREDIENTS (for 4-6 servings)
- 1 big head of lettuce (we prefer Boston but you can use whatever lettuce you have)
- 2 cans of tuna in water
- 12 olives
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 pound of cooked French green beans
- 3 small white potatoes (fingerling potatoes are a favorite choice)
- 6 hard-boiled eggs
- 6 TBSP of olive oil
- 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tsp of spicy mustard (e.g. Maille Dijon). You can use 2 tsp if you prefer a stronger vinaigrette.
- 1 shallot
- Salt & pepper
- Optional: 12 anchovies
DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THE SAUCE VINAIGRETTE
- In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of mustard with 2 pinches of salt and 2 turns of ground pepper mill (or 2 pinches of pepper). Mix in 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
- Using a spoon or whisk, slowly mix in 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Maintaining a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar is key to ensure that vinaigrette emulsifies (i.e. mixing the oil and vinegar together so it becomes a nicely homogenized mixture). If not, your salad will be coated with oil and the vinegar will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
- Add in minced shallots.
- Taste and add more salt & pepper if needed.
DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THE SALADE NICOISE
- Wash and trim ends of French green beans. Cook them in boiling water or steam them. Let them cool off — they need to be cold before preparing the salad.
- Wash and cook potatoes. It’s not very efficient to only cook 3 potatoes so we typically cook more and use the leftover in other composed salads or to make “patates sautées” (sauteed potatoes). Let them cool off and peel.
- Wash and prepare lettuce. Put lettuce at the bottom of a large serving bowl.
- Cut tomatoes and hard boiled eggs in wedges and place of top of lettuce. Cut peeled potatoes in small rounds.
- Place cut potatoes and green beans on top of lettuce, eggs, and tomatoes.
- Drain water from tuna cans and cut in chunks before putting in bowl.
- Prepare the sauce vinaigrette and gently toss all ingredients.
- Spread olives and anchovies (optional) on top of the tossed salad.
A FEW SUGGESTIONS
- Make ahead: green beans, potatoes and eggs can be cooked the day before. Then, simply gather all of the ingredients, peel, cut, and toss — so easy!
- Picnic idea: except for the vinaigrette ingredients, put all the ingredients in a cooler, grab a large serving bowl and tossing ustensils. Pick up your favorite salad dressing (any olive oil based dressing would work for this salade Nicoise recipe) and simply toss once you arrive at your picnic destination — great way to enjoy your “salade Niçoise” outdoors!