Salade niçoise (French pronunciation: [niˈswaz]), la salada nissarda in the Niçard dialect of the Occitan language, is a salad that originated in the French city of Nice. It is traditionally made of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, anchovies, and dressed with olive oil. It has been popular worldwide since the early 20th century, and has been prepared and discussed by many famous chefs.
It can be served either as a composed salad or as a tossed salad. Freshly cooked or canned tuna may be used. For decades, there has been significant disagreement between traditionalists and innovators regarding which ingredients should and should not be included in a salade niçoise. According to traditionalists, it excludes cooked vegetables. The salad may include raw red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts and other seasonal raw vegetables. Raw green beans harvested in the spring, when they are still young and crisp, may be included. However, cooked green beans and potatoes are commonly served in variations of salade niçoise that are popular around the world.
CLASSIC NIÇOISE SALAD RECIPE:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1 or 2 heirloom tomato(es)
- 1 cup olives (black Niçoise are ideal but Castelvetrano or Kalamata work too)
- 4 radishes, sliced thin
- 4 salt-packed anchovies per person (optional as it’s an acquired taste)
- 1 hard-boiled egg per person, halved
- 1 jar of high quality tuna (Tonino, get the good stuff!)
- 1/2 head chopped butter lettuce or bibb lettuce
- 4 leaves of basil (optional)
- (*) Other versions use boiled potatoes and/or green beans. These require cooking and additional steps and do not add much flavor in our opinion.
- Boil eggs and set aside. Do this ahead of time ideally as it’s the only time-consuming step.
- Make the dressing: Finely chop the garlic then press salt into it with a spoon. It should get slightly pasty. Then whisk in oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper. Set aside at room temperature.
- Chop the lettuce into bite-size pieces and arrange on half a dinner plate. Slice the cucumber, tomato, radishes, and eggs.
- Arrange the tomato, cucumber, radishes, eggs, and olives on the other half of the plate. Or just pile everything on. Actually, go nuts. Arrange using your own inspiration.
- Place the tuna on top, then the anchovies & basil if using. Drizzle dressing and sprinkle a bit of finishing sea salt on top. Enjoy!