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Colorful Salade Nicoise Recipe (Nicoise Salad)

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Nothing marks the height of summer quite like this Nice dish, and with my colorful and crisp salade niçoise or nicoise salad recipe, you can make this iconic salad from the comfort of home. Serve it with a glass of sparkling wine out on the patio with your nearest and dearest, and bask in the warmth of the summer sun.

Nicoise Salad

Salade Nicoise Recipe

Nicoise Salad

What is Traditional Salade Nicoise?

The topic of what a traditional salade nicoise is is a debate that roars fiercely to this day, with many chefs and authority names in French cooking having a strong stance on the matter.

What we do know is that, traditionally, salade nicoise was a simple salad of chopped tomatoes and anchovies drizzled in olive oil. It originated in the French city of Nice and was a humble dish eaten by the poorest people in the city.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the dish started to find its way into cookbooks and on restaurant menus and naturally, more ingredients started to be added. Records of the dish in the US can be traced back to the 1920s, and its popularity seemed to really grow worldwide from the 1960s and 1970s onwards.

Many variations have been controversial, especially among purists. For example, French chef Henri-Paul Pellaprat’s version from 1936, which included green beans and potatoes, continues to be controversial to this day.

A Note on My Nicoise Salad Recipe

When I cook and publish recipes for Nomad Paradise, I always try to honor the traditional recipe as much as I can.

Because what is deemed traditional salade nicoise continues to be debated to this day, I am in no way claiming this to be the traditional recipe. This is simply my take on this wonderfully fresh, crisp, and hearty salad, and I hope it inspires you to make this darling dish of French cuisine at home.

Ingredients

To make my salade nicoise recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

For the Salad

Nicoise Salad ingredients
  • Mixed Salad (Mesclun) – 3.5 oz (100 grams)
  • Tomatoes – 3 tomatoes on the vine
  • Peppers – 2 bell peppers (preferably one green and one red)
  • Olives – 1/2 cup black olives (pitted), preferably Nicoise olives
  • Canned Tuna Steak– 7 oz (200 grams) canned tuna steak/canned solid tuna
  • Eggs – 3 eggs
  • Anchovies – 6 anchovies
  • Green Onions -2 green onions/scallions
  • Fresh Parsley – 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

For the Dressing

Salad dressing ingredients for nicoise salad
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Dried Rosemary – 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes (plus more to taste)
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Step 1 – Boil the eggs using your favorite method.

My method is as follows: To a medium pot, add the eggs and enough water to cover the eggs by 1-2 inches or so and, optionally, a tablespoon of inexpensive table salt. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium, and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and keep them in the hot water for another 5 minutes. Then, transfer them to a bowl with ice-cold water and let them cool down until cool enough to peel.

Step by step recipe (boiled and peeled eggs)

Afterward, when they’re cool enough to handle, peel the eggs and slice them into quarters.

Step-by-step recipe (quartered boiled and peeled eggs)

Step 2 – While the eggs are boiling, you can wash and dry the mixed salad.

Washing the salad mix

Step 3 – Deseed the bell peppers and then cut them into thin slices.

Slicing the bell pepeprs

Step 4 – Cut the tomatoes into wedges.

Cutting the tomatoes into wedges

Step 5 – Make the salad dressing. To a bowl, add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Making the salad dressing

Whisk the mixture while drizzling in the olive oil.

Whisking the salad dressing
Salad dressing in a bowl

Step 6 – Add half of the dressing to the salad mix and make sure everything is coated in the dressing.

Adding half the salad dressing to the salad mix

Step 7 – Place your salad mix on the serving platter (or platters). We decided to serve it on two big plates, with each plate containing two servings. If you have a platter large enough, you could serve it all in one platter for 4-6 people.

dividing the salad mix among plates

Step 8 – Drain the canned tuna and add it on top of the salad mix. We used canned solid tuna (also known as canned tuna steak) in oil.

adding canned tuna

Step 9 – Add the sliced peppers.

Adding sliced bell peppers

Step 10 – Add the olives and the tomatoes.

Adding olives
Adding tomatoes

Step 11 – Drizzle over the remaining half of the salad dressing.

Adding the remaining salad dressing

Step 12 – Finally, top with chopped green onion, finely chopped parsley, anchovies, and the quartered hard-boiled eggs.

Adding all the remaining ingredients to the salade nicoise

What to Serve with Salade Nicoise

Because of the ingredients used, and the fact you don’t want this to be too heavy for a summer afternoon, you can simply serve this salad as is.

What you should consider, however, is a refreshing beverage to go with it. Chilled sparkling water, or a lovely rosé or sparkling wine, are ideal to bring to the table with this salad.

Nicoise Salad on a plate

Enjoy the crispness, crunch, juiciness, and all those wonderful flavors that meld together, and find a place for this French classic in your repertoire.

Nicoise Salad on a plate

Recipe Card

Salade Nicoise Recipe (Nicoise Salad)

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Author: Nomad Paradise
Course: Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 3.5 oz 100 grams mixed salad/mesclun
  • 3 tomatoes on the vine
  • 2 bell peppers preferably one green and one red
  • 1/2 cup black olives pitted, preferably Nicoise olives
  • 7 oz 200 grams canned tuna steak/canned solid tuna
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 anchovies
  • 2 green onions/scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

For the Dressing

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Boil the eggs using your favorite method.
    My method is as follows: To a medium pot, add the eggs and enough water to cover the eggs by 1-2 inches or so and, optionally, a tablespoon of inexpensive table salt. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium, and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and keep them in the hot water for another 5 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl with ice-cold water and let them cool down until cool enough to peel. Afterward, when they’re cold, peel the eggs and slice them into quarters.
  • While the eggs are boiling, you can wash and dry the mixed salad.
  • Deseed the bell peppers and then cut them into thin slices.
  • Cut the tomatoes into wedges.
  • Make the salad dressing. To a bowl, add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Whisk the mixture while drizzling in the olive oil.
  • Add half of the dressing to the salad mix and make sure everything is coated in the dressing.
  • Place your salad mix on the serving platter (or platters). We decided to serve it on two big plates, with each plate containing two servings. If you have a platter large enough, you could serve it all in one platter for 4-6 people.
  • Drain the canned tuna and add it on top of the salad mix. We used canned solid tuna (also known as canned tuna steak) in oil.
  • Add the sliced peppers.
  • Add the olives and the tomatoes.
  • Drizzle over the remaining half of the salad dressing.
  • Finally, top with chopped green onion, finely chopped parsley, anchovies, and the quartered hard-boiled eggs.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nomadparadisefood or tag #nomadparadisefood!

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

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  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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