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Light, fresh, and colorful – this Nicoise salad recipe has it all. Made with tender potatoes, crisp green beans, refreshing veggies, and salty olives tossed in a tangy shallot-infused vinaigrette dressing, this delicious French dish will become your favorite fast! Serve this Nicoise salad as a light meal or a mouthwatering side dish to bring the taste of Mediterranean to your plate.
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What makes this Nicoise Salad recipe truly remarkable is its simplicity. Using fresh, wholesome ingredients, it delivers an unforgettable dining experience that tastes, delicious and nourishes the body. One taste of this homemade Nicoise Salad, and you’ll be embracing the joie de vivre of French dining. Get ready to experience the best Nicoise Salad recipe right in your kitchen!
why you’ll love this nicoise salad recipe
- Fresh and vibrant summer flavors. Nicoise salad is beaming with fresh flavors, from juicy tomatoes to crisp green beans to briny olives and tangy dressing. Each bite is a delicious medley that will satisfy your taste buds and bring you back for more.
- Versatile serving options. Add some tuna and serve Nicoise salad as a complete and filling meal – it will satisfy hunger and keep you satiated. Or serve this tasty salad as a side dish at a potluck, BBQ, or dinner party. The beautiful presentation makes it an eye-catching dish that will impress your guests.
- Easily customize to personal taste. Adapt this recipe to suit your taste preferences and use ingredients readily available to you. This recipe has so much flavor that a swap here, and there will only enhance the overall flavor.
- Great make-ahead salad. Even though this recipe is best served fresh, you can easily break it down to have all the individual components ready to assemble the salad in a few minutes.
Ingredients to make nicoise salad
- Baby potatoes: Cooked and cooled potatoes add a starchy component, making the salad more filling.
- Green beans: Blanched green beans provide a crisp and refreshing element to the salad and a nice pop of color.
- Eggs: Provide a creamy texture and added protein to the salad. You can use hard-boiled eggs or cut the cooking time short and make soft-boiled eggs for jammy yolks.
- Mixed greens: Crisp mixed greens form the base of the salad, providing a fresh and leafy bed for other components.
- Cherry tomatoes: Ripe cherry tomatoes provide juicy and fresh flavor in every bite.
- Radishes: With their crisp and slightly spicy flavor, radishes add a contrasting texture to the other ingredients. Thinly sliced and scattered over the salad, they also add a pop of color.
- Pitted Nicoise olives: Traditionally, these small, purplish-black olives are the signature ingredient in the salad, but they are not readily available in grocery stores. Therefore, feel free to swap them out with your favorite olives. Your Nicoise salad will be just as delicious!
- Dressing: Red wine vinegar is first infused with shallots and then whisked with Dijon mustard, seasonings, and olive oil for a tangy and refreshing Nicoise salad dressing.
- Spices: You’ll just need salt, black pepper, and Herbs de Provence. Swap oregano for Herbs de Provence if you don’t have it.
How to make a nicoise salad
It’s helpful to have your salad Nicoise ingredients ready because it moves quickly once you start this recipe. You’ll want to start with the dressing to give it time to infuse all the shallot flavors. One of the best parts about this recipe is you can work in stages: cook the potatoes, eggs, and green beans – then bring it all together on a platter for a mouthwatering dish.
Make the salad dressing
- In a small bowl, combine the shallots and red wine vinegar and allow to sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- When ready to make the dressing, remove the shallots from the vinegar and set aside.
- Whisk in Dijon mustard, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.
- Slowly stream in olive oil and whisk until emulsified.
Cook and build the salad
- Cook the baby potatoes in water with a pinch of salt until fork tender. Drain and set aside in a medium bowl—season with salt and pepper.
- Blanch the green beans by cooking them in boiling water until bright green and tender. Then, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Return the pot of water to a gentle boil, delicately drop the eggs in, and cook until the desired doneness.
- Remove eggs from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking.
- When eggs are cool enough to handle, peel them.
- Cut the eggs in half, lengthwise.
Tips for making the best nicoise salad recipe
- Add vinegar to eggs. To make the eggs easier to peel, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the cooking water. Learn more tricks in this tutorial on how to boil eggs. You can also cook the eggs in an Instant Pot or air fryer.
- Cook the veggies properly. Boil the potatoes until they are tender but still hold their shape. Similarly, cook the green beans until they are tender, with a little bite left to them, and transfer to ice water immediately to stop the cooking process.
- Dress the salad just before serving. To prevent the salad from becoming soggy, dress it with the vinaigrette just before serving to maintain crispness.
- Serve at room temperature. For the best flavor, serve Nicoise salad at room temperature. If you are prepping ahead and refrigerating separate ingredients, bring them to room temperature first before assembling the salad.
popular substitutions & additions
- Add white beans. For extra protein, consider adding white beans, which have a very mellow flavor, to the salad.
- Add more vegetables. You can try other vegetables like artichokes, cucumbers, bell peppers, or avocado for a creamy touch.
- Swap the shallots for pickled onions. Soaking the shallots in the red wine vinegar is a sneaky quick way to get that taste of pickled onions and reduce the strength of the onions. However, if you have some pickled onions, try those instead!
- Bump up the protein. If you like tuna, feel free to add some oiled-packed tuna to this dish for an added protein boost. Shredded chicken would also be great in this recipe.
how to store nicoise salad
Leftover Nicoise salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
how long will nicoise salad last in the fridge?
Nicoise salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days without lettuce. Keep in mind that fresh ingredients such as radishes and tomatoes will become less crispy, and the texture may differ, but it will still be delicious.
Frequently asked questions
For a Nicoise Salad, you can really use any greens you prefer or have on hand. The recipe calls for a container of mixed greens, which typically include a variety of lettuces like romaine, oak leaf, lollo rosso, and tender leafy greens such as spinach or chard. However, feel free to customize it to your liking. Arugula can add a peppery bite, while butter lettuce will lend a soft, buttery texture.
Absolutely! While a classic vinaigrette is traditional for Nicoise salad, you can try other dressings such as balsamic, herb, or creamy dressing. Follow this guide on how to make salad dressing.
Yes, adjust the portion size based on your needs. Whether you want to make a smaller portion for a single serving or a larger batch for a crowd, you can adjust the quantities of the ingredients accordingly.
Absolutely! For a vegan version, you’ll just need to replace the eggs. You could add more veggies, or try a plant-based protein like tofu or chickpeas. And, of course, ensure the Dijon mustard and other ingredients are vegan-friendly, as some brands may contain non-vegan additives.
So, there you have it! You’ve just made a fantastic Nicoise Salad. It’s a great way to shake up your usual salad routine with something a little different, yet simple to prepare. From the creamy eggs to the crisp green beans, every ingredient brings something unique to the table. Next time you’re looking for a light, satisfying, and super tasty meal, remember this Nicoise Salad.
More salad recipes:
- Traditional Tabbouleh Salad
- Chopped Veggie Tahini Salad
- Simple Garden Salad
- Red Cabbage Salad
- Candied Walnut and Pear Salad
- Summer Watermelon Salad
- Best Chopped Salad
- Tropical Fruit Salad
- Farro and Kale Salad
- Easy Chicken Shawarma Salad
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- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- ½ pound green beans trimmed
- 4 eggs
- 1 4 ounce container mixed greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 4-5 radishes thinly sliced
- ½ cup pitted Nicoise olives
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon herbs de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- In a small bowl, combine the shallot and red wine vinegar and let sit for about 30 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Add the baby potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Season with a pinch of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, and set aside in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and set up an ice bath. Once the water is boiling, add green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath for 30 seconds to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Return the pot of water to a gentle boil and delicately drop the eggs in and cook for 6 ½ minutes (for jammy yolks) or 8 to 10 minutes if you prefer hard-boiled eggs. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set in the ice bath to stop the cooking. When cool enough to handle, peel eggs then slice in half.
- Remove the shallots from the vinegar and set aside. Whisk in Dijon, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper into vinegar until smooth. Slowly stream in olive oil and whisk until emulsified.
- Layer the prepared salad ingredients on a platter and drizzle the dressing over it. Toss and serve!
- To meal prep: pre-cook the potatoes, green beans, and eggs and refrigerate them separately for up to 4 days. Make the salad dressing and store it in the fridge for up to 7 days. Then when you’re ready to build the salad, assemble all the salad ingredients together for an easy dish.
- For best flavor, serve Nicoise salad at room temperature. If you are prepping ahead and refrigerating separate ingredients, bring them to room temperature first before assembling the salad.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.