Nicoise salad, or salade Nicoise if you like to pretend you’re French, is a composed salad of fresh tuna, potato salad, egg, green beans, tomatoes, and greens that creates a stunning and satisfying summer supper.
Folks who’ve made this Nicoise salad are saying no one could believe the stunning platter didn’t come from a local bistro. Canned tuna in water or olive oil can be substituted.–Renee Schettler Rossi
For the vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced scallions white and green parts only
- 2 tablespoons minced dill leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves thinly sliced
For the french potato salad
- 1 pound small white boiling potatoes
- 1 pound small red boiling potatoes
- 1/2 cup vinaigrette
For the nicoise salad
- Four 1-inch (25 mm) thick fresh tuna steaks
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 pound French string beans (haricots verts) stems removed and blanched
- 1 recipe French Potato Salad (above)
- 8 ripe Roma tomatoes cut into wedges
- 4 hard-boiled eggs peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 pound good black olives pitted
- 1 can anchovies (optional)
- 1 bunch watercress or arugula
Make the vinaigrette
- Using a blender, or with a whisk in a bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, anchovy paste, and salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil until the dressing is thick and luscious. Stir in the scallions, dill, parsley, and basil.
Make the French potato salad
- Boil the white and red potatoes into a large pot of salted water until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in quarters and place them in a medium bowl.
- Add the 1/2 cup, or more to taste, of the vinaigrette to the potatoes while they’re still warm and toss the salad to coat. Set it off to the side and let the vinaigrette soak into the potatoes for about half an hour before using. Set the salad aside.
Assemble the nicoise salad
- Heat a saute pan or stove-top grill until very hot. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill each tuna steak for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. The center should be raw but warm, or the tuna will be tough and dry.
- To assemble the Nicoise salad, arrange the tuna, haricots verts, potato salad, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and anchovies on top of the arugula or watercress on a large platter and serve immediately.
Originally published June 13, 2018