The Classic Niçoise Salad Recipe
Niçoise salad is a classic but somehow doesn’t end up on too many menus in the U.S. But if you’ve ever been to Nice (things from Nice are Niçoise, by the way), it’s on menus there. And for good reason. It’s clean, healthy, and delicious. Veggies and protein (Paleo dieters take note). That said, there are many versions of this classic. We prefer the *strict version of this Mediterranean magical dish.
2 cloves garlic
1⁄2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 English cucumber
1 or 2 heirloom tomato(es)
1 cup olives (black Niçoise are ideal but Castelvetrano or Kalamata work too)
4 radishes, sliced thin
4 salt-packed anchovies per person (optional as it’s an acquired taste)
1 hard-boiled egg per person, halved
1 jar of high quality tuna (Tonino, get the good stuff!)
1/2 head chopped butter lettuce or bibb lettuce
4 leaves of basil (optional)
* Other versions use boiled potatoes and/or green beans. These require cooking and additional steps and do not add much flavor in our opinion. But should the mood strike, go for it!
Boil eggs and set aside. Do this ahead of time ideally as it’s the only time-consuming step.
Make the dressing: Finely chop the garlic then press salt into it with a spoon. It should get slightly pasty. Then whisk in oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
Chop chop! Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces and arrange on half a dinner plate. Slice the cucumber, tomato, radishes, and eggs.
Arrange the tomato, cucumber, radishes, eggs, and olives on the other half of the plate. Or just pile everything on. Actually, go nuts. Arrange using your own inspiration.
Place the tuna on top, then the anchovies & basil if using. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle a bit of finishing sea salt on top. Enjoy!
We’ve made this several times with different ingredients. It’s tough to go wrong. And it’s always amazingly delicious considering how healthy it is.