Nicoise Salad is so easy to make and you can switch up the ingredients for what’s in season. Tuna Nicoise salad is my absolute favorite. It’s amazing that a can of good tuna, ripe tomatoes, tender green beans, perfectly cooked eggs and potatoes, briny olives and a simple mustardy dressing can make one of the most flavorful and satisfying meals there is!
I could eat Nicoise Salad once a week. Forever. Sometimes I get fancy with it, an anchovy here, a sprig of tarragon there. But this is the way we eat it most often: just 20 minutes between putting water on to boil and taking our first bite. It’s a house favorite because all of the elements, though distinct, work in harmony: a simple dressing of fresh lemon juice, good olive oil and Dijon mustard brighten; namesake Niçoise olives add spark; creamy new potatoes and tender green beans offer heft; perfectly boiled eggs and humble but mighty canned tuna make it a meal.
The best salads are a combination of the freshest ingredients in season and need only the simplest preparation to shine. Salad Niçoise is a perfect example (I’m looking at you too Crab Salad). Serve it alone for a light lunch or alongside a cup of French Onion Soup as I often do.
Easy Nicoise Salad Recipe
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 1 pound new potatoes halved
- 1 pound haricots verts
- 2 large tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 cup black Niçoise olives
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled and halved
- 2 cans high-quality tuna drained
- To make the dressing: whisk lemon juice and mustard together in a small bowl; add oil in a steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- To make the salad: Add potatoes to a medium saucepan (large enough to hold potatoes and haricots verts) and cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat. After the potatoes have boiled for 10-12 minutes and are nearly tender, add haricot verts. Boil until potatoes are tender and haricot verts are crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes more. Drain in colander and rinse briefly with cold water; drain.
- Assemble salads: Arrange potatoes, haricot verts, tomatoes, olives, eggs and tuna on four serving plates, dividing the ingredients evenly. Drizzle each salad with desired amount of dressing. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve.
- It's a timesaver to boil the haricot verts (thin green beans) and new potatoes in the same water.
- Even when I'm making this for two, I often double it and serve the leftovers for lunch or dinner then next day. If you do this, refrigerate the ingredients separately and assemble the salad just before serving.