This recipe is for the most commonly served Salade Nicoise. However, the traditional Salade Nicoise in Nice may not always come with cooked beans or cooked potatoes. This salad for them reflects the seasons, so the Salade Nicoise varies with the seasons. In the spring they may use fava beans and artichokes, in the summer sweet yellow rock melon, and in the Autumn finely sliced radishes.
These are two pics of Salade Nicoise recipes served in restaurants in Nice. As the French do, I vary my recipe using seasonal ingredients. As you can see, each ingredient is treated with care and seasoned just enough to let all the freshness of the vegetables explode in your mouth with each bite.
- 425 grams of canned tuna in oil, the best tuna you can afford
- 200 grams of baby green beans, cleaned and trimmed
- 250 grams of small tomatoes, use different colors of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 cups of small new potatoes, cooked and cut in half
- 1/2 cup of black olives, they should be Mediterranean olives NOT Kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons of small capers (look for the smallest you can find)
- 4 boiled eggs, peeled, cut in half cross ways or quarters, the eggs should be medium boiled, they are firm but still moist and creamy.
- 8 anchovy fillets in oil. Drained
- 2 baby Cos lettuces, leaves separated, and washed
- Basil leaves
Ingredients for the Vinaigrette
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 4 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 anchovy fillet
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Hot water if needed
- Start by making the vinaigrette. In a Small bowl whisk all the ingredients together except for the shallot slices. The vinaigrette will be like an emulsion and it will have a lovely golden colour. If the vinaigrette is too thick just add a tablespoon of hot water. Add the shallot slices and toss all the ingredients. Set aside until ready to use in the salad
- Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water until they are just tender. Do not peel them. Cut them in half.
- In a large pan of salted boiling water add the beans for a few minutes until they are just tender and still very green. Move them to a bowl with iced water to stop them from further cooking. Drain them and set aside.
- In a big bowl put the tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, olives, and lettuce. Add the vinaigrette, gently toss all the ingredients together.
- In a small bowl put your tuna, capers and add some of the vinaigrette. Add a few drops of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, portion the salad into individual bowls. Garnish the top of the salad with flaky tuna, egg slices, anchovy fillets, more olives and basil leaves. Basil leaves add fragrance and flavour to the salad.
- I make my vinaigrette ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. I use a sealed jar.
- If the vinaigrette is too thick add hot water. Hot water brings the flavours together. This is my little secret.
- If the Anchovy fillets are too salty dip them in milk for a few minutes. This is a tip used at the Cordon Blue school. Milk reduces the salt.
- Use capers if you want to add more flavour to the salad.
- If you do not have a good tuna, don’t add anything. This salad without the tuna is simply delicious.