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Salade Nicoise Recipe

Salade Nicoise is one of the traditional French salads, composed rather than tossed, and featuring fresh vegetables, tiny salty black olives, and tuna.

Salade Nicoise Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

If you travel to France, chances are you will have the opportunity to eat in a restaurant or cafe. I hope so! Some of the best meals I ever ate were in France.

After a few French menu readings, you’ll see a theme. Often the same recipes appear throughout the country, perhaps with a few local tweaks. The French have their every day classics just as we do. Ours may be the patty melt, meatloaf, mac and cheese, or spaghetti and meatballs. Theirs may be the Quiche, Roast Chicken, or the Croque Monsieur.

Or the Salade Nicoise.

A little background for you, a dish prepared a la Nicoise, means it’s made the way they do it in Nice. Typically, this includes tomatoes, black olives, garlic, and anchovies. A salade nicoise has these elements as well as green beans, onions, tuna, hardcooked egg, and herbs.

I’ve done my best to recreate it here in a way that suits the American palate and grocery bill. The garlic is the seasoning to the green beans. The herbs are mixed in the dressing. The olives are Kalamata instead of true Nicoise because they are easier to find here. And I left out the anchovy and onion because 1. anchovy is fairly foreign to most Americans and can be expensive, and 2. I forgot to put the onion on before I photographed the picture. Oops!

I’ve also taken the liberty of adding cooked red potato because that’s how I was served it in France one day years ago when I dined out with my friend Lucile. She told me that some put rice in the salad instead of potato and that it’s a small bone of contention.

While I wish I were eating this in Collioure or Paris, I’m pretending at home with my own delicious Salade Nicoise. And now you can, too.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie M. says:

    I love Salade Nicoise and I’ve made it for myself several times. I like the way each ingredient is set up in its own space on the plate. This makes it very appealing. I also love the variety of textures and flavors of this salad. Admittedly, I have not made it in a long time and this has now inspired me. Thanks for another great recipe.

    • This kind of salad, the salade composee, is really common in France, but you probably knew that already. It definitely changes the presentation. Salads can otherwise feel like such a mishmash.

      • Stephanie M. says:

        In Germany, when you get a salad in a restaurant, it is always served with each ingredient in it’s own little “pile” on the plate. I love that look so much that when we have company, many times, depending on the dinner, I serve salad that way. I set up however many glass salad dishes I need on my kitchen table and then I start making them all like an assembly line. It really is a pretty look and always impresses because it’s different from the norm.

  2. I also love Salade Nicoise. My husband and I ate it repeatedly on our honeymoon in the south of France. In fact, other dishes from that region have made it into our regular repertoire too – pissaladiere (onion pizza with anchovies and olives) and socca (a chickpea pancake).
    Using anchovy paste in the dressing would be an easy way to get the flavour of the anchovies.

    • I have not had either of the dishes you mention, but I hope I can try the real deal next time we go. Where did you honeymoon? We honeymooned in Collioure, west of Perpignan.

  3. Awwww, my mom spent her junior year in France and so I grew eating Salad Nicoise! We typically ate it with rice and usually skipped the olives. I loved reading about your travels and all the good food you feed you family!

  4. Yum! Thanks for posting this! Right now due to some health issues I’m having to eat dairy and gluten free. How nice to be reminded that instead of having to find strange substitutes I can just find real foods that don’t happen to include the things I need to avoid. Plus this has lots of great vegetables, which never hurts. I’ll probably add in some anchovies though, because they are one of my favorites.

    • Yep! I am right there with you. I haven’t come up with a plan yet, but my own health issues are suggesting similar changes. Normal food without the gluten is my goal. 🙂

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