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Salade Niçoise | French Composed Salad

Nothing says summer in the Mediteranean like a niçoise salad.

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
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Nothing says summer in the Mediterranean like a niçoise salad. You may be saying summer? What? It's September. Well, in Algeria we're still feeling the sweltering heat of summer. And we can still a few more dreamy days sitting under umbraella at the beach.

A few days ago we, like many went to the beach for that one last swim before 'Back to School'. When at the beach, we usually want light and refreshening picnic that can easily be eaten ... without getting too much sand in our food and teeth.  Fresh fruit, composed salad and one-hand sandwiches all fit the bill in my opinion. 

One of my favorite beach salads is Salade Niçoise. Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suaz) is quintessential  French composed salad.  Sometimes it's also referred to as Salada Nissarda. Salade Niçoise hails from Nice, on the Mediterranean Sea. And is considered the culinary jewel of the county. It's present on the tables of homes and restaurants in the region, as well all five continents.  It can be prepared in the summer and spring when the vegetables are at their peek of cripsy freshness. According to Wiki, "Salad Niçoise is a composed salad of tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, and anchovies, dressed with a vinaigrette. It is served variously on a plate, platter, or in a bowl, with or without a bed of lettuce." Many argue if the steamed green and potatoes are true to the original Niçoise. Niçoise salad is a full meal, a celebration of simple ingredients. It's a  celebration of fresh vegetables, lightly dressed.  A feast of the basics, simply prepared, pure and elemental in taste. rich in vitamins that goes well with a crusty baguette. A salad that reflects the bright, still life of summer. 

While many of you health conscious people out there may be shaking your head due to the fact this recipe uses canned tuna and potatoes, Salade Niçoise is actually a very health meal. The ingredients offer a powerhouse of benefits .The eggs deliver all the essential nutrients, high in protein as well as plenty of healthy fat (important because tuna is quite lean). Tuna, of course, is one of the healthiest meats around, and all the different colors of vegetables round out the meal with a solid dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The olives offer up anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that helps the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, immune system, inflammatory system and digestive system…..so more or less all of the body. And finally the green beans a great source of folate, fibre and vitamin K.

I've used albacore tuna packed in water here, but if you like use one packed in olive oil. Drain the oil and use about 3 tablespoon (half of what the recipe calls for) in the dressing. You'll kill two birds with one stone: extra flavorful oil and less ingredients to buy/waste.

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Salade Niçoise }

 french composed salad 

heart healthy, diabetic friendly, gluten-free

YIELD: serves 4-5

 pot, large MIXING BOWL, small mixing bowl or blender, FORK, SPOON, strainer knife, cutting board


  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, washed and cored
  • 2 medium vineripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 6 eggs, hardboiled, peeled and halved
  • 500g - ½ lb green beans, stems cut off
  • ¼ cup niçoise black olives 
  • 5 small new potatoes, peeled and quatered 
  • 1 160g - 4oz can albacore tuna packed in water or olive oil (use 2 if you're feeling fancy)
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinand cut into crescents
  • Fresh herbs, about 2 TBS of whatever you have on hand: parsley, basil, thyme, chives
  • 5-6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 Tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider, but just about anything would work)
  • salt and fresh-ground pepper
  • 2 TBS chopped capers, drained of brine
  • several anchovies, chopped fine (optional)
  • salt/black pepper
    • English cucumber, sliced and halved 
    • small purple artichokes
    • fava/ broad beans
    • 1 celery heart 
    • scallions, sliced thin

    PREPARE the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a small bowl. Optionally blend in a blender. Taste and re-seaon if needed. Set aside.

    BRING a pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and eggs. Cook about 5 minutes until tender.  Remove the beans and eggs from the water with tongs or a slotted spoon, and shock in ice/cold water bath. Remove the beans from the water and lay out to dry. Proceed to peel the eggs. Slice in half. Season those with salt and pepper also.

    ADD the potatoes to the pot. Boil about 10 minutes until tender, and drain. Allow the potatoes cool and dress them with about 1 TBS of the dressing. It should be lightly dressed. 

    SLICE the tomatoes and cucumbers. Toss them along with the green beans with about a 1 TBS of the dressing.

    TEAR the lettuce into bite-size pieces and mix lightly with the herbs. Arrange on a large platter. Then proceed to arrange the tomatoes, hardboiled egg slices, onions, green beans, olives, tuna and potatoes on top of the lettuce.

    DRIZZLE the remaining dressing over salads.  

    Serve the salad cold. 

    These salad, divided into seperate compotents can stay fresh for up 3days. For a picnic or  packed lunch, dress the salad right before eating.

    You can easily use grilled fresh tuna instead of canned. 

    to make this dish vegetarian or vegan simply omit the tuna and eggs, and use a veggie- based protein like chickpeas instead.


    To make this dish Paleo or Primal, omitt the potatoes and use sweet potatoes instead. And optionally use fresh grilled tuna.

     CATEGORIES:  french, salad, healthy, summer, spring, main dishes - fish and seafood

    SOURCE:  adapted from niçe rende-vouz magazine

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      This salad is a meal in itself, but goes wonderfully with some crusty baguette and a chilled glass of Orangina.


        What do you take to the beach? 

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        1 comment:

        1. As-Salaamu Alaykum Heni,
          A delightful plate indeed i only wish i was in Algeria to share it with you!


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