Traditionally made with tomatoes, beans, tuna, olives and olive oil, Salade Nicoise is the epitome of the South of France.
Fresh, crisp and popping with colour, this salad is everything a meal should be – packed with colour and vitamins, full of flavour, and reminiscent of a holiday…
Though there are as many recipes for Salade Nicoise as there are cooks to prepare it, there are a few mainstays on which we can rely.
Top quality tuna is a must, as are sweet fresh beans and fresh fruity olive oil.
In spring, artichoke hearts and broad beans add another dimension to the salty-sweet flavours, and while a traditional Salade Nicoise is made entirely of fresh, raw vegetables, many cooks nowadays add soft new potatoes and deep green French beans for flavour and texture.
Luscious Lifer Lourayne was kind enough to share her amazing Salade Nicoise recipe with us – thanks so much Lourayne!
Eat it as we did, in the sunshine with a glass of crisp white wine and a crusty baguette. Heaven.
Salade Nicoise recipe
Serves 4, with leftovers
- 1 soft lambs lettuce, washed and dried
- 8 small Nicola potatoes, halved and cooked (skins on)
- ½ red and ½ a green capsicum, washed and sliced into strips
- 1 packet of super-ripe cherry tomatoes ‘en trusse’, halved
- 250 g baby green French beans, topped, tailed and cooked
- 4 spring onions, sliced finely
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthways
- 1 large can of very good quality tuna (allow at least 100gm per person)
- 8 small asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
- 8 stuffed olives, halved
- 4 flat anchovy fillets, sliced lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
- Save the oil from the tuna when you drain it.
- 2 tbsp very good quality fruity olive oil, or more if desired.
- 1 Tbspn good quality white wine vinegar
- a squirt of lemon juice
- 1 teas prepared French Dijon mustard
- pinch sugar, salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
Combine ingredients for the salad dressing in a small jar with a screw top lid and shake well. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes so the salt dissolves and the flavours develop.
Putting the Salade Nicoise together:
- Line a shallow platter with the lettuce.
- Place the tuna on the leaves in big bite size chunks. It doesn’t matter if they’re uneven!
- Now, arrange the potatoes around the plate. It is best they are still quite warm, as they will absorb the flavors from the salad dressing.
- At random, toss on the tomatoes, beans, asparagus, capsicum around the salad. Try and make sure you have a good even mix of colour over the plate.
- Place the egg halves evenly around the salad. Arrange the anchovy strips in diagonal crosses over the eggs.
- Now, sprinkle the spring onions, olives and parsley over the salad.
- Finally, drizzle the salad dressing over the salad. Make sure the potatoes receive a generous amount of the dressing lusciousness!
- Allow the salad to stand for at least 20 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavors to infuse.
Serve with a good quality baguette and a beautiful bottle of chilled Rose.
Thanks again Lourayne!
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