Key Ingredients for the Dressing
Red wine vinegar: Obviously, vinegar is the foundation of any vinaigrette. You can substitute with white wine vinegar if you don’t have red.
Shallots: Shallots are milder in flavor than raw onions, making them perfect for a salad dressing.
Thyme: I prefer to use fresh herbs whenever possible to enhance the flavor of the dressing, but if you don’t have fresh thyme, dried will do!
Dijon Mustard: This is the classic type of mustard used in French cuisine.
How to Make It
step by step photos of how to make salad nicoise dressing
Add the shallot, garlic, mustard, thyme, salt and black pepper to your blender or small food processor.
Pour the oil into the blender in a slow, steady stream, with the blender running on low speed. Then, continue blending until emulsified.
Add basil and parsley, then pulse a few times until finely chopped.
Transfer the dressing into a jar and set aside.
How to Make Nicoise Salad
Salad nicoise ingredients – potatoes, green beans, tuna, eggs, olives, homemade dressing, spring greens and tomatoes
Ingredients You’ll Need
Hard boiled eggs: Boil the eggs any way you like, but I like to cook them in my Instant Pot. After peeling the eggs, cut them into quarters lengthwise.
Red potatoes: Red potatoes hold their shape better after cooking, so they’re great for salads.
Green beans: Steam the green beans until they are bright green and “just” tender. Your salad will have a nice, hearty crunch!
Tuna fish: You can use your favorite brand of canned tuna in this recipe, or fresh tuna/tuna steaks. The vinaigrette dressing gives the tuna a burst of additional flavor.
Spring greens: Any kind of fresh greens will work! I like to use a classic spring mix.
Cherry tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes add a splash of color and sweetness to the salad.
Nicoise olives: These briny olives have an intense, savory flavor. If you can’t find nicoise olives, kalamata olives are a good substitute.
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How to Make It
Step-by-step instructions on how to make a salad nicoise
Place a steamer basket inside of a large pot with an inch or two of water. Bring water to a slow boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are bright green and crisp tender.
Place the potatoes into a large pot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender and pierce easily with a fork.
Drain the potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Allow them to cool slightly before slicing into chunks. Drizzle some of the fresh herb vinaigrette over the potatoes and toss to coat.
Add the tuna to a bowl and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Use a fork to gently flake the tuna.
Toss greens with a little of the dressing for Salad Nicoise until lightly coated.
To serve the salad:
Divide the greens amongst individual plates
Arrange the beans, potatoes, tuna, eggs, tomatoes, and olives over the greens in a pretty layout. Adding the remaining dressing, if desired.
Salad Nicoise Dressing and Salad Storage Instructions
The salad nicoise dressing can be made up to three days in advance. In addition, you can also cook the eggs, green beans and potatoes in advance. Then, simply store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the meal.
Nicoise salad dressing can be stored in a screw-top jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
Salad Nicoise Dressing FAQs
What are the ingredients in Nicoise Salad?
Most Nicoise salad recipes include core ingredients like hardboiled eggs, French beans or string beans, chunks of tuna, tomatoes, olives, potatoes, and a herb or bright lemon vinaigrette.
Why is it called Nicoise salad?
This classic French salad is named after the city of Nice in Provence, France.
What is a good substitute for Nicoise olives?
Kalamata olives are a great substitute, or black olives.
Salad Nicoise Dressing Tips and Tricks
Toss the potatoes with some of the Salad Nicoise dressing when they’re still warm to let them absorb the flavor.
The dressing for Salad Nicoise also adds a much-need flavor boost to the canned tuna!
To save time on busy weeknights, you can make prepare most of the Salad Nicoise dressing and other ingredients ahead of time.
While this salad is a great meal all on its own, if you want something to serve with it, there are definitely options. Thin, crispy bread or crackers are a good option. Or, consider serving a light, bright soup, like my sweet corn soup!
overhead shot of salad arranged in white bowl