How to Make Niçoise Salad
How would you describe a perfect lunch for a special occasion? Answer: Salad Nicoise with a glass of rose. It’s the kind of meal that tastes classy and heavenly, best reserved for those special occasions we love to celebrate with loved ones.
Niçoise salad is an excellent, traditional dish that originates from the south of France.
Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suahz) is a simple French dish with Tuna, green beans, and potatoes. These ingredients make Nicoise salad unique; however, in addition to all that, you could add fish, hard-boiled eggs, the Niçoise olives, and anchovy fillets.
The uniqueness of this dish is in the dressing and assembling on the plate. It speaks of style and class. Each component used is dressed separately with the vinaigrette and arranged one after the other on the plate.
It is also important to note that the niçoise salad would require time. When I speak of time, I mean lots and lots of time.
However, there are simple secrets that can cut your cooking time in half. They include:
- Cooking the eggs and beans at least a day ahead and keeping them chilled, preparing the vinaigrette, and storing it in a fridge ahead of the day you would want to make this dish.
- Also note that when selecting your Tuna, pick the solid oil-packed Tuna of high quality, instead of the water-packed variety.
To prepare two servings of niçoise salad, you would need:
For the salad:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes
- 4 ounces haricot verts or green beans
- 1 (5-ounce) can Tuna packed in oil, drained (see Recipe Note)
- 2 medium plum tomatoes, quartered
- 3 cups salad greens
- 1/3 cup Nicoise olives
- Anchovy fillets (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Several small-medium mixing bowls
- Medium saucepan
- Cutting board
- Prepare the vinaigrette: Add the mustard, minced garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper into a small bowl and whisk together. Pour in the oil in a slow, long, and steady stream, while whisking it constantly until it emulsifies the dressing.
- Cooking the egg: Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cook over high heat to get the water to a boil, then turn off the heat, cover the pan and let the eggs stay for 10 minutes. Drain the water and place the eggs in ice water to cool. Once cooled, peel the eggs and cut them into three parts.
- Put the potatoes in a small saucepan and pour some water in it: Add half a teaspoon of salt and place on medium-high heat to boil. Cook the potatoes until they are soft and pierced with a fork. The cooking should take about 10 minutes. Drain the water out of the potatoes immediately and set aside to be cool.
- Cook the green beans: Pour water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until it turns bright green and tender. Drain the water from the saucepan with a colander and set aside.
- Dress the greens: In a large bowl, add the salad greens. Brush the inside of the bowl with a little vinaigrette, and combine until the green beans are fully covered.
- Dress the potatoes: When the potatoes are cool to handle (but still warm), slice crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place the potatoes into a small bowl, add two teaspoons of the vinaigrette, and toss the mixture thoroughly. Transfer the dressed potatoes to a separate bowl or plates.
- Dress each of the remaining ingredients: by tossing them with the vinaigrette.
- Arrange the salad: After tossing each ingredient, transfer them to the serving plates and arrange them in sections, with the Tuna placed in the middle. You can add any other dressing of your choice.
- Serve with a glass of rose. Feel the niçoise salad magic!