Classic Nicoise Salad or Salade Niçoise is originally from the south of France. This bright and delicious salad is made with fresh Micro Rainbow Mix microgreens, potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, hard-boiled eggs and tuna, with a wonderfully bold vinaigrette drizzled over the top made with Mild Cayenne Dijon Mustard.
Hello my friends. How is this week treating you? Mine has been busy because this is the high season in the hospitality market. I don’t know if you remember that my full-time job is Territory Manager for a hotel supply company, and my territory is the Caribbean. I have been waking up at 4am to start working everyday for the past two weeks. So, I didn’t get a chance to release this recipe last week because I didn’t have time to sit quietly and write to you. As usual, I say to myself that I’m going to write a shorter post. Let’s see what happens by the time I’m done.
It wasn’t until recently that I tried a Classic Nicoise Salad, and I have had this recipe printed and waiting for the right moment. Well, the moment finally arrived when I received some free goodies this past summer from my friends at Fresh Bright Microgreens. By the way, this post is not sponsored by them. I also had an open half-empty jar of Mild Cayenne Dijon Mustard (which you can buy in our online store), and I knew it would be great in a champagne mustard vinaigrette on top of this salad. Yes I know, I’m behind in posting recipes. I have a bunch of created recipes with already taken photographs, just sitting here waiting for me to write about. Writing the post for you is my biggest issue because I’m not a natural writer. Sometimes it could take me almost a week to finish a post. I’m getting better, and some recipes inspire me so much that I have done a post in three hours… but that is a rare occasion.
Now let me tell you, this Classic Nicoise Salad is beautiful, colorful and very tasty. This French inspired salad has different textures starting with the crisp green beans, and then following up with the buttery potatoes and the creamy avocado. More texture and flavors delight your mouth with the micro rainbow mix from Fresh Bright Microgreens, green onions, and a mix of beautiful cherry tomatoes. You must also have some olives. You can use Nicoise olives or black olives, but I use Kalamata Olives from Greece (which you can buy in our online store). Two more of my favorite ingredients are the high-quality tuna in olive oil, and hard-boiled eggs. But, this salad is not complete without a good salad dressing, and the vinaigrette that I made for this salad is everything that you want to have on this salad. I cannot emphasize more to use high-quality ingredients, because this can turn any simple dish into an extraordinary meal.
How to make Classic Nicoise Salad
What makes this traditional French salad from Nice, France special is the selection of fresh produce. The traditional ingredients are Niçoise olives (or Kalamata olives that I use), potatoes, green beans, eggs, oil-packed tuna, mixed greens and anchovy fillets. But you can leave out some of the ingredients to your taste, like the anchovy fillets which I left out. Then you can add in others flavors not traditionally found in a nicoise salad like avocado, green onions or cucumbers. I stick with what I love in my salad recipes. For the potatoes, I use fingerling potatoes because they are buttery in flavor, quick to cook, and they look so pretty.
First, you need to cook the eggs, potatoes, and green beans. In the recipe card below is the step-by-step instructions on how to cook those ingredients. After they are cooked, arrange the ingredients along the outer edges of the bowl starting with the micro rainbow mix, then the potatoes, the eggs, green beans, tomatoes, and tuna. Then in the center, half of a sliced avocado (yes avocado tends to be the star of any of my salads,) and sprinkle on some green onions. Pour the dressing over the salad.
Champagne Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette on a Classic Nicoise Salad
I start with the traditional ingredients for the vinaigrette for this French Classic Nicoise Salad with some changes like using Mild Cayenne Dijon Mustard by Brown Dog Fancy Condiments, and champagne vinegar instead of white wine vinegar. I also added a hint of onion flavor with some finely chopped shallot, and I prefer to use garlic in a mashed form. And of course, I highly recommend using a premium extra virgin olive oil (I use Lia EVOO). I usually combine all those ingredients in a mason jar with a lid for easy emulsifying and storage.
Can a Classic Nicoise Salad be made ahead of time and stored?
This Nicoise Salad is perfect to make ahead for weeknight dinners or as part of your lunchtime meal plan for the week. The ingredients can be stored in individual containers for up to three days. If you do this, do not slice the ingredients until you are ready to assemble the salad. The dressing you can pre-make in the lidded mason jar and just put it in the refrigerator. When you are ready, just take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are planning to assemble the salad. This will allow the oil to melt and be sure to shake it before drizzling on the salad.
I think you will love this healthy and hearty dinner salad. It’s easy to make and great to make ahead to save you some time. Give it a try and let me know what you think. You can also check out these three other salad recipes:
- Santa Fe Salad Dressing on a Rainbow Salad
- Kohlrabi Salad with Edamame, Chickpeas, Apple, and Cilantro Cottonseed Dressing
- Grilled Corn Zucchini Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese & Seared Scallop
Your Recipe Concierge
Classic Nicoise Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
Yield 2 serving
Classic Nicoise Salad is a refreshing and bright French salad originating in Nice, with fresh Micro Rainbow Mix microgreens, potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, hard-boiled eggs and tuna, dressed with an mild cayenne dijon mustard vinaigrette for a hint of spiciness.
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil, I use Lia Extra Virgin Olive Oil Click to buy in our online shop
- 1 teaSpoon Mild Cayenne Dijon Mustard Click to buy in our online shop
- 1 clove garlic, mashed
- 1 TableSpoon fine chopped shallot.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste. You can start adding ½ teaSpoon of each and adjust to your liking.
For the salad:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2-pound fingerling potatoes, I use fingerling purple and fingerling potato
- 4 ounces green beans
- 1 5-ounce can of tuna packed in oil, drained. My favorite brand is Tonnino
- 2 medium multi-color cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 3 cups micro rainbow mix or you can use any mix greens.
- 1/3 cup green onions - only the green part
- 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata Olives Click to buy in our online shop
- 1 avocado
Make the vinaigrette:
- In a small mason jar, add the champagne vinegar, olive oil, Mild Cayenne Dijon Mustard, mashed garlic, salt, and pepper. Shake the jar until the dressing is emulsified.
- Very important: Make the dressing first and let the flavors come together. Leave it outside until the rest of the salad is ready.
Cook ingredients for the salad:
- Eggs: Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover them with an inch of water. Cook over high heat to bring the water to a boil. Then turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Drain the water and place the eggs in ice water to cool. Once cooled, peel and quarter the eggs. Set aside. Note: I used to use these traditional instructions, but now I’m using the Egg Cooker with Built-In Timer by Hamilton Beach.
- Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil, then reduced to medium heat. Cook until potatoes are tender - about 10 minutes. You can check the tenderness by piercing the potato with a fork. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Set aside.
- Green beans: In the same pot with the water you cooked the potatoes, cook the green beans. Bring the water to a boil and add the green beans. Cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender – about 3 to 4 minutes, or if you like them softer, boil for a minute longer. Remove beans with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl with chilly water. Then drain in a colander. Cut the green beans 2” length or bite-size. Set aside.
Assembling the Nicoise Salad
- Take the tuna out of the jar and discard the olive oil. I break the tuna into chunks.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in two halves.
- Cut the Kalamata olives in two halves if you wish.
- Arrange the ingredients along the outer edges of the bowl starting with the micro rainbow mix, then the potatoes, eggs, green beans, tomatoes, and tuna. Then in the center, place half of a sliced avocado. Sprinkle on some green onions
- Shake the dressing again and drizzle over the salad.
- Some recipes call to dress each ingredient separate to allow each ingredient to have the right amount of dressing.
- Make-ahead Nicoise salad: The ingredients can be stored in individual containers for up to three days. If you do this, do not slice the ingredients until you are ready to assemble the salad. The dressing is already in the mason jar, so just put it in the refrigerator and take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you are planning to assemble the salad. This will allow the oil to melt.
- The key for a delicious and fresh salad is to buy quality ingredients. Spend an extra couple of dollars on a high-quality tuna packed in olive oil. The same applies for the mustard & the extra virgin olive oil.
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