How to make Nicoise Salad (Salade Niçoise)

This salad is a perfect marriage of flavours. If you’ve never tried this salad give it a go. Toss it all together, layer it or make it into a platter style for an event to be shared. The salty fish and herby olives, sweet tomatoes, unctuous tuna and eggs will be the winner on the day! Here’s how to make Salad Nicoise, Fit style.

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD

  • Small baby, chat potatoes, kipflers or new
  • Baby green beans, trimmed to 2cm pieces
  • Tuna in oil or brine, left in large chunks
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Black olives or Niçoise olives (if you can find them)
  • Cos lettuce hearts or Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Anchovy fillets in oil
  • Toasted pine nuts

METHOD

  • Bring the potatoes to the boil starting in cold water. Simmer very gently without boiling until a knife glide through easily. Strain immediately.
  • Place your pine nuts into a preheated low oven (140-150°C) and cook for about 15 minutes. Check them after 5 and go from there. Set aside and leave to cool.
  • In the same pot start with cold water and place the eggs in gently. Add a splash of vinegar. If the eggs crack during cooking the vinegar will help to coagulate the egg and prevent it leaking out too much. As soon as they come to the boil set a timer for 8 minutes. After 8 mins. remove immediately and while running under cold water peel the eggs.
  • Bring a pan of water to the boil with some salt. Once rapidly boiling plunge the beans in and cook for about 1-3 mins depending on how many beans you’re cooking. Strain and put into ice water to halt the cooking and set the colour, (retain the nice green colour).
  • While everything is cooking; cut the tomatoes & cucumber; drain the tuna and some anchovies; wash your lettuce and tear into smaller chunks.
  • Cut your potatoes in quarters; eggs into quarters and drain your beans from the iced water.
  • Assemble the salad by layering it into your bowl, platter or your meal prep lunch containers.
  • Drizzle your dressing over. If taking away as lunch put some dressing into a small salvaged glass jar and dress your salad just before you eat it.

TO MAKE THE DRESSING

  • Acid: 80ml / ⅓ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Oil: 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or) 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • Twist of freshly cracked black pepper 
  • Tiny pinch of mixed herbs
  • Whisk all the ingredients together or place into a jar and shake very vigorously.
  • Adjust the acid to oil balance by adding a bit more of either.

For olives with extra punch, drain and dry the olives. With the olives and a generous pinch of dried and fresh oregano, dried chilli flakes, warm to about 40˚C. (Less than hot tap water; warmer than your blood.) Leave in the fridge overnight and serve at room temperature.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTES

(If you don’t like any particular ingredient, swap it out.)

  • Tuna for Tempeh, Tofu or fresh Atlantic Salmon cut and cooked medium.
  • Eggs for Tofu
  • Bean for Edamame, Snow peas, Cannellini beans or Chickpeas.
  • Olives for Capers
  • Tomatoes for Capsicum (Peppers)
  • Cucumbers for Dill Pickles

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