Once on a 10-day trip to France, I became enamored of Salade Niçoise. Nearly every day for lunch as we toured the wine regions, I would find this delectable entrée in nearly every auberge or bistro we visited. There’s something about the combination of tuna and potatoes, vegetables, egg and and anchovy that I love. In researching the dish, I found that in Nice where the salad originated, it was and is usually a vegetable-only concoction minus the potatoes. But if the restaurants of France add the extras, I will, too.
In the sultry heat of August, this is a main course that is super simple to put together. If you’ve boiled some potatoes for another meal and a few eggs, you can be supping in the space of one song (playlist as usual, provided!). You can add things like cucumbers and celery or leave out the anchovies if they’re not your thing. We had the great good fortune to share charcoal-grilled tuna caught by a friend in the Gulf, and there were lots of leftovers for this dish, but traditionally oil-packed canned tuna is the fish of choice, and it’s wonderful — and easy — in this salad. Dressed with a classic French vinaigrette, you need nothing more except a cool beverage.
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup olive oil preferably organic
- 16 ounces tuna cooked or canned in oil
- 12 ounces boiled potatoes sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs quartered
- 12 ounces green beans cooked
- 2 medium tomatoes quatered
- 1/3 cup Niçoise olives
- 1 ounce capers optional
- 2 ounces anchovies optional
Make the dressing: Add shallot, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Taste and correct for vinegar or olive oil.
Assemble the remaining ingredients on a platter or individual plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette.