Click on the stars to vote!
Salade niçoise is a famous French classic salad that originated the city of Nice, a beautiful city located along the French Riviera (south of France).
It is a simple but richly flavored composed salad made with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, green beans and capers.
Table of content
A bit of history…
The traditional Niçoise salad was made of tomatoes, anchovies, olives and olive oil. Tuna was not introduced until the 19th century because it was a very expensive delicacy.
The contemporary recipe as we know it with green beans and potatoes, is a creation of the famous Parisian chef, Auguste Escoffier. He made this salad popular in France and all over the world with his book Guide Culinaire published in 1903. But he also caused controversy among the purists of Nice!
What I love about Niçoise salad!
Here are a few reasons why you should try this classic Niçoise salad recipe:
- NUTRITIOUS: This salad is packed with nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and vitamins. It is healthy, light while bringing a feeling of satiety thanks to the tuna and the eggs. satiety.
- CUSTOMIZABLE: I am sharing with you the traditional recipe in this article, but you can customize this salad to suit your preferences and what you have in your fridge.
- VERSATILE: This salad is perfect for a quick lunch but also for special occasions in the summer because it is pretty to present and will certainly make an impression on your guests!
List of ingredients
Here are the main ingredients you need for this Salade Niçoise recipe.
- Lettuce: It’s the base of this salad. Lettuce provides a crunch and freshness to the salad.
- Green beans: I used fresh green beans or haricots verts. They bring a vibrant green color and a satisfying crunch to the salad.
- Tuna: Tuna is a star ingredient in the Niçoise Salad. I use quality canned tuna. For a special occasion, you can use fresh pan-roasted tuna steaks.
- Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are a traditional component of the Niçoise Salad, providing a creamy texture and a subtle richness.
- Black olives: I use small black Nice olives. Niçoise olives have a clean taste of ripe olive, with a hint of acidity in the aftertaste. If you cannot find them in your grocery store, you can opt for Kalamata olives.
- Cherry tomatoes: I used Cherry tomatoes bring sweetness and juiciness to the Niçoise Salad. Always make sure, you use ripe tomatoes for more sweetness!
- Capers: Capers offer a salty and slightly sour taste, contrasting very well with the other ingredients.
- Red onions: Red onions offer a sharp and savory flavor to the Niçoise Salad, adding a crunchy and crisp texture to the salad. You can replace the red onion with spring onions or sweet onions.
- Potatoes: I recommend firm small potatoes such as baby potatoes or red potatoes. The potatoes make the salad more filling.
- Mustard vinaigrette: The best dressing for this salad! I highly recommend to prepare your own vinaigrette, have a look at my recipe for an Easy Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette.
You will find the exact quantities in the recipe card.
How to make a Niçoise salad?
Follow these simple steps to make this delicious salad:
STEP 1: Rinse baby potatoes thoroughly and cut them into halve. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Arrange them on a baking tray, place them in the oven, and bake at 180 °C (350°F) for 30 minutes or until tender.
STEP 2: Start by washing the green beans and trimming the ends. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and carefully add the green beans. Allow them to cook for approximately 7 minutes until they are tender but still crisp. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove the green beans from the pot and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Let them sit in the ice water for about 10 minutes to halt the cooking process. Afterward, drain the green beans once again.
STEP 3: In the same pot of boiling water, place the eggs and let them cook for around 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. Once they are done, carefully run them under cold water to cool them down. Proceed to peel the eggs and slice them in half, revealing their perfectly cooked yolks.
STEP 4: Wash the lettuce leaves and chop them. Cut the cherry tomatoes into half and thinly slice the red onions. Drain the tuna.
STEP 5: Prepare the vinaigrette by adding all the ingredients in a small jar or bottle and mixing well, then shake vigorously.
STEP 6: Place the ingredients on a large serving plate, starting with the lettuce. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad and serve immediately. Bon appétit!
Here are some tips to enhance your Classic French Niçoise Salad recipe:
- Meat: While the classic recipe includes tuna as the primary protein, you can add Grilled chicken or smoked salmon instead of tuna.
- Seasonal vegetables: Classic French Niçoise Salad is its versatility. So you can try different fresh vegetables like artichoke hearts, asparagus, radishes, roasted beets, bell peppers, etc.
- Dressings: Try a lemon and herb dressing, cream dressing or balsamic vinegar dressing.
- Garnishes: Top the salad with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese or fresh herbs such as chives or dill.
- I always recommend choosing high quality ingredients, especially for this recipe, especially since each ingredient is quite affordable.
- For more flavor, mix lettuce, green beans, and tomatoes with the vinaigrette separately when serving immediately. If you prepare the salad in advance, reserve the vinaigrette aside and pour it just before serving.
- If you have some leftovers, you can make a classic Niçoise salad sandwich and place the ingredients of the salad in a pan bagnat!
FAQ: Niçoise salad
It is recommended to enjoy this salad immediately after preparation. However, you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
If you have some leftovers, you can make a classic Niçoise salad sandwich and place the ingredients of the salad in a pan bagnat!
Yes! Simply replace tuna with tofu and skip eggs. Now you can enjoy a vegan Classic French Niçoise Salad.
Yes, you can prepare this salad in advance. However, keep the vinaigrette to the last moment and drizzle it before serving.
Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, it always makes me very happy!
Classic French Niçoise Salad
Click on the stars to rate!
- 1 lettuce
- 500 g fresh green beans
- 200 g canned tuna
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup black olives
- 250 g cherry tomatoes
- 4 tbsp capers
- 2 red onion
- 500 g baby potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ cove of garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Begin by washing the baby potatoes and cutting them in half. Place the potato halves in a bowl, then drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the seasoned potatoes to a baking tray.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), then place the baking tray with the potatoes in the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden and tender.
- Next, wash the green beans and trim the ends. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook them for about 7 minutes.
- While the green beans are cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water. After 7 minutes, drain the green beans and immediately transfer them to the bowl of ice water to cool. Let them sit in the ice water for 5-10 minutes, then drain again.
- In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Once cooked, run them under cold water, peel, and cut them in half.
- Wash the lettuce leaves and roughly chop them. Halve the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice the red onions. Drain the tuna.
- To prepare the vinaigrette, mix all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small container and shake well to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Take a large serving plate and layer the ingredients. Start with the lettuce as the base, then add the green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions, olives, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, capers, and the baked potatoes. Sprinkle some parsley on top and season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad.
- TIP: If you want to prepare the salad in advance, you can assemble all the ingredients except the dressing. Only pour the vinaigrette dressing over the salad right before serving.
- If serving immediately, consider mixing the lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and green beans separately with a small amount of vinaigrette dressing to enhance their flavors before arranging them on the plate.