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May 21, 2021

Salade Niçoise

This salade Niçoise is a composed salad of fresh lettuce, small cooked and chilled potatoes, blanched green beans, hard boiled eggs, chopped shallot, tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, and tuna, all dressed in a tapenade vinaigrette. 

Salade Niçoise Composed


While I love this version, rest assured there are many versions of salade Niçoise. In fact, there are lots of arguments about what exactly a salade Niçoise is, especially in France and the EU. 

Some "authorities" with gravitas, including Larousse Gastronomique and Escoffier, assert that the salad includes potatoes, blanched haricots vert, anchovies, capers, and olives, all dressed with a vinaigrette. 

Some swear that the potatoes and beans do not belong in the salad. Instead just fresh vegetables, but with tuna. One of those includes an author of a book on Nice cuisine, Jacques Médecin (source: Serious Eats). 

By the way, he was a former mayor of Nice who was convicted of corruption, escaped to Uruguay, and finally extradited back to France to serve his term in jail. 

Salade Niçoise with anchovies

In this case, I followed the lead of Dorie Greenspan in her book, Around My French Table: More than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours, published in 2010. She spends part of each year in France and has researched French rcipes. According to Dorie, the traditional recipe includes olive oil packed canned tuna, not fresh tuna.

So, there you go! As far as I'm concerned, anything goes. Toss your salad, compose your salad, add what you want, and make this salad your own. 

Salade Niçoise ingredients

For this salad, I decided to go with canned oil packed tuna, anchovies, shallots, butter leaf lettuce, hard boiled eggs, blanched green beans, some boiled mini baby Yukon Gold potatoes, along with black olives, and a combination of grape and heirloom cherry tomatoes. 

While I used Spanish black olives in this salad, if you can find Niçoise olives, definitely use them. Also, be sure to use oil packed tuna, not water packed. 

For the beans, I recommend using haricots verts, or French green beans. They are thinner than typical green beans. Be sure to trim the ends before blanching. 

I assembled this salad by first tossing the greens with a tapenade vinaigrette. 

Salade Niçoise lettuce

After tossing the greens with some of the tapenade vinaigrette, begin arranging the rest of the ingredients over the lettuce. 

Once everything is arranged on a platter, serve the salad with more of the tapenade vinaigrette on the side. The combination of the fresh ingredients with the tuna, capers, olives, and anchovies creates such a delicious salad. 

Salade Niçoise with beans and potatoes

Make-ahead tips for this salad Niçoise:

You can boil and chill both the potatoes and green beans in advance. In addition, you can mix the dressing in advance. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving. 

You can also slice the tomatoes and wash and tear the lettuce and refrigerate it before assembling the salad. Plus, you can slice and refrigerate the shallots. 

Of course, you can boil and chill the eggs a couple of days in advance. 

More Main Dish Salads on Karen's Kitchen Stories:

Italian Chopped Salad

Salmon and Potato Salad

The Ultimate Layered Salad

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Surimi (Imitation Crab) Salad

Salade Niçoise plated

More great dishes with canned tuna:

Deviled eggs with tuna, capers, and chives

Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

More great seafood salads:

Italian seafood salad

Shrimp salad

Thai-style shrimp salad sandwiches

Welcome to this month's Fish Friday Foodies. Our theme this month is salads. 

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This salade Niçoise is a composed salad of fresh lettuce, small cooked and chilled potatoes, blanched green beans, hard boiled eggs, chopped shallot, tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, and tuna, all dressed in a tapenade vinaigrette.


For the Salad
  • 12 mini Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound green beans, preferably haricots verts, trimmed
  • 6 handfuls soft greens, such as butter, Boston, or bibb lettuce, rinsed and dried
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped, rinsed, and dried in paper towels
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe olive tapenade Vinaigrette
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, halved or quartered
  • 20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 20 black olives, preferably Niçoise
  • 2 5 or 6 ounce cans of tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 8 anchovies, rinsed, dried, and cut in half
  • Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
For the Tapenade Vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon olive tapenade
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Pinch of minced garlic
  • Pinch of grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


To Assemble the Salad
  1. Bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water and cook until easily pierced with a sharp knife, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the potates with a slotted spoon and let cool on a plate. Cut in halves or quarters depending on the size of the potatoes.
  2. Place the beans in the simmering water and cook for about 4 minutes, until bright green. Drain and place them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Dry the beans when they have cooled. 
  3. Place the greens on a large platter and sprinkle with the shallots and a pinch or two of salt and pepper. 
  4. Toss the greens with a tablespoon or two of the vinaigrette.
  5. Arrange the potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, olives, and tuna over the greens. Sprinkle with the capers. 
  6. Arrange the anchovies over the eggs or over the salad, your preference. 
  7. Season the salad with a pinch or two more of salt and pepper and a drizzle of the vinaigrette. Finish with chopped fresh parsley. 
  8. Serve the rest of the vinaigrette on the side. 
To Make the Vinaigrette
  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients. 
  2. Rewhisk when ready to serve. 
Tuna, seafood
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Would you like to comment?

  1. What a beautiful salad chock full of wonderful ingredients, makes a balanced meal!

  2. Looks absolutely lovely, and indeed a well-balanced meal! I was very interested in reading up on what entails a salade Niçoise - variants and all.

  3. I love composed salads. They always seem so elegant. I have only had tuna nicoise salads in restaurants because my husband doesn't care for tuna.

    1. You can always make it with chicken, shrimp, or crab!

  4. This salad is just stunning - you packed SO much good stuff in there. This has always been on my "to try" list - maybe this summer I need to cross it off the list!

  5. Wow! a colorful and delicious salad.


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