Confident home cooking
I'm embarrassed to say I ate all of this by myself.
Healthy, Salad, Seafood

Nicoise Salad

by Nick

Sometimes I’m in the mood for salad, but I also want something with a lot of flavor. Not that other salads don’t have flavor, but I often crave something with protein, some good rich vegetables and a nice dressing. Basically, I want a Nicoise salad.

Oh sorry. I mean Niçoise salad. And as I was corrected on many times, it’s pronounced [niˈswaz]. Not Nicoozy. Or Nicweese.

Anyway, the point is that Niçoise salads are delicious.

Let me start by saying that I may offend some French readers by messing with this classic dish. I substituted asparagus for the traditional green beans in the dish and I completely left out capers by accident. That said, I thought my version was pretty darn tasty.

Yield
Serves 2-4.
Prep Time
Total Time
Print Recipe

Nicoise Salad

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 8 Ounce tuna steak
  • 12 new potatoes
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Niçoise olives
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced (or use cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • Anchovies (optional)
  • Capers (I left these out but they would definitely be good in the dish.)
  • Lettuce or greens (apparently the use of lettuce or no lettuce is also debatable. I like a bed of lettuce so I used it.)
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced oregano (you could also use basil, thyme, or a bit of all of them)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2-3 Tablespoons red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 - 3/4 Cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

1) Add all the dressing ingredients in the order listed above to a jar and shake it up! Really go to town on it. Be sure to taste it and adjust accordingly.

2) Get a large pot of water boiling with a Tablespoon of salt. Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes first to the dish. After five minutes, carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water.

3) After about 10 more minutes, the eggs and potatoes should be done at the same time. Take them out and toss in the asparagus. Be sure to clip off the ends on the asparagus.

4) The asparagus will only need about 4 minutes. Pull them and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking.

5) Peel the eggs and toss the asparagus and potatoes (cut them in half after cooking them) with a few Tablespoons of the dressing.

6) Put a skillet over high heat with a bit of oil in it.

7) Coat the tuna with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Once the oil is very hot in the pan, toss in the tuna.

8) Cook it for 3 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. If you don’t like the tuna rare (blasphemy), then cook it a bit longer on both sides.

9) Pull off the tuna and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it up.

10) Put the salad together and enjoy!


Making the dressing

Anytime I have a mustard jar, I hang onto it after all the mustard is gone. Turns out that the jar is perfect for making a vinaigrette. You need a bit of mustard to help emulsify the olive oil and vinegar so by using the jar to shake up your vinaigrette you get a bit of mustard and also can store any leftovers in the jar.

Basically, add all your ingredients in the order listed above to the jar and shake it up! Really go to town on it. Be sure to taste it and adjust accordingly.

To anyone who called me weird for keeping empty mustard jars.

To anyone who called me weird for keeping empty mustard jars.

Prepared ingredients

There are a few ingredients in this salad that are already prepared for you. Things like the anchovies, capers, and olives should be ready to go. If you can’t find Nicoise olives, I think you could probably use kalamata olives. I wouldn’t use black olives. You should be able to find Nicoise olives in most stores though.

Small and flavorful.

Small and flavorful.

Blanching the vegetables

Besides the tuna, there are only three things you need to cook for this salad: the eggs, the potatoes, and the asparagus. Luckily, you can do them all in one dish.

Get a large pot of water boiling with a Tablespoon of salt. Once the water is boiling, add your potatoes first to the dish. After five minutes, carefully lower your eggs into the boiling water. Some people have a very specific way that they like to make hard boiled eggs, but I opted for simplicity over perfection for this. It might mean that some of the shell sticks to the egg, but it isn’t the end of the world.

After about 10 more minutes, your eggs and potatoes should be done at the same time. Take them out and toss in your asparagus. Be sure to clip off the ends on the asparagus.

The asparagus will only need about 4 minutes. Pull them and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking.

Peel your eggs and toss your asparagus and potatoes (cut them in half after cooking them) with a few Tablespoons of your dressing.

Blanched and tossed.

Blanched and tossed.

Searing the Tuna

Put a skillet over high heat with a bit of oil in it. Coat your tuna with oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Once your oil is very hot in the pan, toss in your tuna. Cook it for 3 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. If you don’t like your tuna rare (blasphemy), then cook it a bit longer on both sides.

Pull off the tuna and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it up.

Good lookin' seafood.

Good lookin’ seafood.

Then watch this helpful animation on putting together the whole thing!

Making the salad!

Making the salad!

I’m not kidding that I ate this entire salad by myself. This was probably 2/3s of the whole recipe. I put it all together for the photo but then was going to take part of it for lunch along with some of the other leftovers. I ended up eating all of it in one sitting. It’s a really awesome pairing of flavors.

Lots of flavor going on here.

Lots of flavor going on here.

I thought this was perfect for the summer. If I had a grill, I would’ve grilled the tuna, asparagus, and potatoes. Blanching them was the more traditional way to go though.

If you are looking for a flavor-packed salad, you can’t lose with this.