Classic Niçoise SaladJump to Recipe
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 this Classic 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. That said, I thought my version was pretty darn tasty.
- This recipe was updated on July 8th, 2019 to add new photos and spiffy up directions!
This is my take on a classic Nicoise salad with potatoes, asparagus, seared tuna, and other goodies! It’s my favorite summer salad meal. Healthy and filling! Also makes great lunches!
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 60 seconds on one side and 60 seconds 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 Niçoise Salad 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 and whisk together (or shake in a jar)! Really go to town on it. Be sure to taste it and adjust accordingly.
Other Nicoise Salad 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 also like Castelvetrano olives. I wouldn’t use canned black olives. They don’t pack enough flavor.
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.
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 60 seconds on one side and 60 seconds 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.
This was my salad base before the tuna. Traditionally, a Nicoise salad won’t even have greens or lettuce, but I like it as a base. I’ve never claimed to be a strict traditionalist!
Then with the tuna on it becomes a complete Nicoise Salad!
I’m not kidding that I ate this entire salad by myself. 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.
I thought this Nicoise Salad was perfect for the summer. Optionally, you could also grill 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.
Here are a few other great full meal salad recipes!
Hello! My name is Nick Evans and I write and manage Macheesmo. I started Macheesmo 11 years ago when I was just learning my way around the kitchen. I love to cook and love everything food-related, but I have no formal training. These days I focus on fast, accessible recipes with the occasional “reach” recipe!
I’ve posted almost 2,000 recipes on Macheesmo. For each one, I do my best to give full explanations of what I did and tips on what I’d do differently next time. I’ll bring up the tricky parts and the easy parts.
I hope you can find something and cook something!