Nicoise Salad Recipe

Simple, healthy recipes that work every time!

Nicoise salad is a French main dish salad that’s off the charts good, featuring potatoes, eggs, beans, olives & greens covered in a tangy lemon dressing.

Nicoise salad

This post was created in partnership with Earthbound Farm. All opinions are our own.

Are you ready for Alex and my favorite salad EVER? The word salad doesn’t even really come close to describing the taste treat that is Nicoise salad. Eggs, green beans, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and tangy potato salad sit on crunchy lettuce with a zesty lemon dressing that makes you want to keep eating it for days. It’s filling enough to be a main dish, and it’s got the best summery vibe (just add frose?!). In our rendition, we’ve used Earthbound Farm Red Baby Butter Lettuce, which has the most beautiful maroon and green leaves. It tastes fabulous: and it’s organic too. Keep reading for more about the benefits of organic and how to make Nicoise salad!

Coupon: Here’s a coupon for $2 off Earthbound Farm products!

Spread of vegetables

About Earthbound Farm & organic food

Before we get to this Nicoise salad, let’s talk about organic food. Have you come across Earthbound Farm before? 100% of their products are certified organic, which is very impressive. Alex and I commit to buying organic as much as possible because of the positive effects on the environment and our health. We know that it can be really difficult for businesses to commit to all organic farming and making food at accessible prices for consumers. So we are impressed by Earthbound Farm’s commitment to making organic an accessible choice for everyone!

What does organic mean? It means that 100 percent of Earthbound Farm’s farmers grow with cultural and biological practices that promote ecological balance, build healthy soils, conserve biodiversity and avoid the use of toxic and persistent conventional chemicals and synthetic fertilizers, GMOs and irradiation.

It does take a bit of education in the world of organic to understand the definition above. The main point for YOU as the consumer is that Earthbound Farm commits to organic as a major solution for environmental and human health. And that means benefits for all of us.

Nicoise salad

What is Nicoise salad?

Back to this delicious Nicoise salad with those organic greens! First of all, what is Nicoise salad? It’s a classic French composed salad. The French is salade nicoise, meaning “Salad from Nice, France”. It always has the same elements: a bed of greens (many times butter lettuce), blanched green beans, olives, tomatoes, tuna, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s super filling and oh so satisfying.

How to pronounce Nicoise? If you don’t speak French, you might be tripped up by the name. It’s easy to say, though: Nee-SWAZ salad.

Baby Red Butter Lettuce

How to make Nicoise salad

Alex and I learned about the magic of Nicoise salad (salade Nicoise) from our cooking idol Julia Child, and we’ve been loving it ever since. This recipe is an adaptation of her classic rendition! This Nicoise salad is easy to make, but there are quite a bit of elements to prepare. So for easiest prep, make a few things in advance: the hard boiled eggs and lemon vinaigrette are simple to whip up the night before. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also boil the potatoes and green beans in advance and refrigerate everything: this would make for an incredibly simple prep the day of. If you do it all in one evening, having a friend or spouse help is great too!

Either way, all the components of Nicoise salad are very simple to make. There’s hard boiled eggs: which we make either on our perfect stovetop method or Instant Pot hard boiled eggs. Then you’ll boil both the potatoes and green beans: and we’ve provided instructions for cooking them in the same pot! The potatoes you’ll make into a French potato salad by combining them with shallot and vinegar: it’s actually an incredibly good potato salad recipe that you might want to make on its own! And you’ll whisk up the Lemon Vinaigrette that ties everything together.

Salade nicoise | Salad recipes

How to serve Nicoise salad

Another note: this recipe uses tuna, which is traditional for Nicoise salad. However, for a vegetarian salad you can omit it and it’s still just as tasty! The potatoes and hard boiled eggs make it a filling vegetarian salad recipe.

This Nicoise salad is the perfect spring and summer meal for enjoying al fresco, with a glass of white wine or rosé, or even frozen rosé! Serve it with a starter of crostini or bruschetta and you’ve got patio meal perfection.

Tuna nicoise

Looking for salad recipes?

Outside of this Nicoise salad, here are a few more salad recipes we love! You could use the Earthbound Farm Red Baby Butter Lettuce in a few of these!

This recipe is…

This Nicoise salad recipe is pescatarian and gluten-free. For vegetarian, omit the tuna.

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Nicoise salad

Nicoise Salad


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 main dish salads 1x

Description

Nicoise salad is a French main dish salad that’s off the charts good, featuring potatoes, eggs, beans, olives & greens covered in a tangy lemon dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces Red Baby Bibb lettuce
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 small shallot (2 tablespoons minced)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 large tomato
  • 2 cans tuna (omit for vegetarian)
  • 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the hard boiled eggs: Follow our method for Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (or Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs). Note that you can use the same ice bath for the green beans below. The eggs are also perfect for making in advance.
  2. Boil the potatoes and beans: Fill a large pot with cold water and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the whole potatoes and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, working in batches slice off the stem ends of the green beans.
  3. Blanch the beans: Right when the water comes to a boil, start a timer for 5 minutes and place the green beans in the pot with the potatoes. Boil the beans for about 5 minutes until tender but still bright green. Prepare a large bowl of ice water (or use the same one as for the hard boiled eggs). Right when the beans are tender, remove them from the boiling water with tongs and transfer them to the ice bath. Remove the beans and dry them with a towel, then mix them with a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Finish the potatoes: Keep cooking the potatoes for about 3 minutes until fork tender (taste test to check). While they are cooking, mince 2 tablespoons shallot. When the potatoes are done, drain them. When they are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite sized pieces. Place them in a bowl and gently mix in the minced shallot, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Then add the capers, parsley (optional) 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a few grinds black pepper. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. 
  5. Make the dressing: Make the Lemon Vinaigrette. 
  6. Prep the salad ingredients: Slice the tomatoes into wedges (or cherry tomatoes in half) and sprinkle with a little kosher salt
  7. Drain the tuna and flake it using a fork, then add a few pinches of kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. 
  8. Serve: To serve, in large shallow bowls or on large platters, add Red Baby Butter Lettuce leaves. Top with green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomato, tuna, Kalamata olives, and potatoes. Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette and serve. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Nicoise Salad, Salade nicoise, Tuna nicoise, How to pronounce nicoise, What is nicoise salad, Salad recipes,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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