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Traditional salad nicoise recipe

Traditional salad nicoise recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Seafood salad
  • Nicoise salad

Originally, the Nicoise salad was prepared in the South of France for fishermen returning from sea - both tasty and healthy, but also nourishing, cheap and quick to make.

34 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch dried rosemary (optional)
  • For the salad
  • 2 small hearts of romaine (cos) lettuce
  • 1 (200g) tin tuna in brine
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 12 pitted black olives
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • a few sprigs fresh parsley, chopped

MethodPrep:15min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well.
  2. Arrange lettuce leaves in a circular pattern on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the drained tuna, then the onions, olives and sliced peppers. Arrange the egg halves in a symmetrical pattern around the edge of the salad, then do the same with the tomatoes. Make a 'star' in the centre of the salad with the anchovies.
  3. Drizzle the salad with the vinaigrette right before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.


Traditional salad nicoise

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(14)

Reviews in English (1)

A gorgeously simple salad! Love the video too. I served this over the bank holiday and guests loved it. Thank you-07 May 2013

Niçoise Salad (Salada Nissarda)

Niçoise salad (salade niçoise) is known throughout the world. Unfortunately, despite its success, the authentic and traditional Niçoise salad is only known by a minority of people.

Some say that cuisine must evolve and recipes must adapt and change, but for many purists, a real Niçoise salad must follow certain rules and also avoid some pitfalls. Niçoise salad is originally a poor man’s dish prepared exclusively with affordable local ingredients. The dish was served to fishermen upon returning from their outings.

The ingredients that appear in all the traditional recipes of Niçoise salad include tomato, hard boiled eggs, spring onions, small unpitted black olives (from Nice) and canned tuna or anchovies.

This salad being a poor man’s dish, only one fish would appear. It was either tuna or anchovies. Nowadays, the use of both in the same salad is commonly accepted, even by purists. Also, there are variations of the Niçoise salad either with fresh seared tuna or with canned tuna in olive oil.

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There are several versions of the salad depending on the neighborhood, families or regions it came from. Some include other local ingredients such as small fava beans, cucumber, bell pepper (red or green), radishes, raw baby purple artichokes, celery heart, red onion and more importantly mesclun.

Mesclun is a salad mix typical of the South of France. Indeed, mesclun (from the Provence word mesclum which means mixture) was invented by the monks at the monastery of Cimiez (Franciscan Fathers) in the beautiful city of Nice. The composition of traditional mesclun may include mâche, lettuce, chicory, arugula, escarole and radicchio or even baby spinach, purslane and dandelion. This salad mix should include at least 5 salads for the name mesclun to be used.

How to make an authentic niçoise salad?

So what mistakes shall a novice make in order to annoy a Niçois?

To start with, the rookie mistake is to include cooked vegetables, either green beans or potatoes. As a matter of fact, a picture of fake Niçoise salade has made it to this post somehow. Can you identify it?

Then, there is no rice in a Niçoise salad. I do not know who started to include rice in this salad but this is still a mistake that some people do.

Also, the fish used in the French salad is either tuna or anchovy. No other fish. Not even herring or sardine, even if sardines are quite used in Nissarde cuisine.

What dressing to use for Niçoise salad?

Many people only use olive oil, salt and pepper as a Niçoise salad dressing. Traditionally, vinegar is used to season the salad only when it is served in a pan bagnat, typical Niçois sandwich featuring all the ingredients of the salad in a round soft bread. It seems that the use of vinegar is now tolerated in traditional Niçoise salad. However, mustard is apparently banned.

This salade niçoise recipe is validated by our culinary expert in French cuisine, Chef Simon. You can find Chef Simon on his website Chef Simon – Le Plaisir de Cuisiner.

Frequently asked questions about La Salade Niçoise:

Very simply – it is a healthier version of what is commonly known as French cuisine. Rooted in the Mediterranean diet , the food of the French Riviera is a mix of Provençal, Italian, Greek, North African and French cuisines. It is inspired by the sun and the Mediterranean sea and features lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, fish, and olive oil. Preferred cooking methods are oven baked or poached and the iconic ingredients of northern French cuisine, butter and cheese, are seldom used. The most common seasonings are rosemary, thyme, herbes de Provence, as well fresh lemon or orange zest.

An authentic Salade Niçoise, as described by Guy Gedda, Le Pape de la Cuisine Provençale, or the “Pope of Provencal Cuisine” incudes lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, green onion, anchovies, tuna, Niçois olives , artichokes, and lemon. Potatoes and green beans are not included in an authentic or traditional Salad Niçoise, however it does create for a more complete meal and tastes delicious!

La Salade Niçoise comes from the Capital city of the French Riviera, Nice, France. The mediterranean coastal city is situated between Cannes and Monte Carlo and has culinary influences from neighboring Italy as well as Provence. La Salade Niçoise is one of the French Riviera’s most popular culinary exports.

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Salade niçoise

To make the dressing, mash the garlic and anchovy, if using, with a small pinch of salt on a board using the blade of a large knife, or in a pestle and mortar. Combine the paste with the mustard and vinegar, then slowly stir in the tuna oil. Set aside.

Tip the new potatoes into a large pan of cold salted water, ensuring they’re well covered. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the beans and cook for 5 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into a bowl of iced water to cool. Cook the potatoes for another 5 mins until tender, then drain and leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, halve or quarter them, and toss in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of the dressing. Leave to cool completely.

Meanwhile, cook the eggs in a second pan of simmering water for 7½ mins, then transfer to a bowl of iced water to cool. Drain the beans and eggs, then peel and halve the eggs.

Tip the lettuce quarters, cooked beans and olives into the bowl with the potatoes. Add most of the remaining dressing and gently toss. Divide the salad between two bowls, and top with the tomatoes and eggs. Flake over the tuna, then drizzle with the rest of the dressing and season.


Remove the potatoes from any leftover salade niçoise. Stuff the rest of the salad into a split baguette or ciabatta. Drizzle with olive oil and add extra anchovies. Weigh the sandwich down with a baking tray for 30 mins. Cut into wedges and serve with the potatoes on the side.

Traditional Nicoise Salad Ingredients

Type in nicoise on any search bar and a dozen images and recipes will pull up all with tuna, roasted potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and tomatoes over a bed of lettuce. However, the original was extremely basic, with hard-boiled eggs, capers, french beans, and tomatoes tossed in a dressing of olive oil, anchovies, and herbs.

While the original is delicious all on its own, this Salmon Nicoise is equally delicious and MUCH more kid-friendly. I don’t know if they’d forgive me for sneaking anchovies into their salad.

I keep my freezer stocked with fresh salmon by ordering through Fulton’s Fish Market. This means I always have the ingredients I need to make this salmon nicoise.

Should Nicoise Salad be Composed or Tossed?

Have you noticed that all the ingredients in a nicoise salad looks intact and arranged? Because it is!

I’m going to follow the rules on this one, it easier to assemble and it creates a beautiful dish to serve to guests or a nice dinner during the weekday.

Also, if you’re serving this for a family meal, the composed option is a good idea, that way if someone doesn’t like olives they can easily avoid them, which is more difficult with tossed salads.

How to Prepare Salmon for Nicoise Salad

Whether it’s baked, grilled or from a pouch, there is no wrong way. I usually go for whatever I have on hand, usually, it’s baked salmon from a previous dinner. In fact, salmon, green beans, and potatoes are a meal all on their own, so next time you bake salmon for dinner add extra fish, potatoes and green beans and just like that, you get two meals with one.

Loaded Nicoise Salad

The Nicoise Salad is, in my opinion, the French version of the Cobb. And after posting a billion Cobb recipes here on WGC, and having 4 of them coming in my new cookbook, I’m taking the French version for a spin. Traditionally it’s loaded with tuna, green beans and potatoes – but I lightened it up a bit and ditched the potatoes, replaced them with marinated tomatoes and tied it all together with a ton of fresh herbs and a really addictive vinaigrette that you’ll love. It’s another knife and fork salad recipe that I know you’ll enjoy!

This recipe itself is quite easy and packed with flavor. Genova Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil in Easy Open Cans, some market lettuce, and then a bunch of stuff that’s probably sitting in your fridge right this very minute. It doesn’t take long to whip up, and to prove it… check out the video below!

As you know, I’m teaming up with Genova for the next few months to bring you some incredible recipes with my California girl spin. The Genova brand was introduce to me a few months ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since! You can use either yellowtail or albacore for this salad, both are delish and both are packed in olive oil and come in these super easy to open cans that you can pop open and add to just about anything – like this salad! It’s gorgeous, loaded with everything you need to make salad into a meal, and perfect for feeding a crowd!

Salade Niçoise | Air Fryer Recipe

Traditional Salade Niçoise features steamed or boiled potatoes and green beans and, often, canned tuna. It also takes multiple steps, where many of the vegetables are cooked separately. This air-fryer version allows you to cook everything together, simply by adding the tuna after the vegetables have cooked for a little while.

Canned tuna can just ruin this entire dish. I'm all for skipping steps to make a recipe more efficient when it doesn't change the flavor, but canned tuna definitely changes the flavor. Don't use canned tuna. If you use a fresh, amazing tuna filet you will really enjoy this Salade Niçoise.

What Does This Salade Niçoise Taste Like?

Okay, let's talk taste. This Salade Niçoise tastes crisper than a traditional Salade because the traditional recipe calls for boiling all the ingredients. Here however, I wanted to air fry or bake them to get a quick meal.

it's actually a great example of how to use the same ingredients but how to cook them differently for a different taste.

If you like you can steam all the ingredients and combine them, and enjoy your salad that way as well.

Tips and Tricks For Making This Hearty Tuna Salad

  1. Don't throw the tuna in at the same time as the veggies. The vegetables need to cook about three times as long as the tuna does.
  2. Don't skip the step where I tell you to press the salt and pepper into the tuna, or all your seasoning will likely fall off and you will have bland tuna.

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If you love this Salade Niçoise recipe as much as I do, make sure you share it with your friends on Facebook or Pin it to make it again soon.

★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below! Just click on the stars in the recipe card to rate. Don't forget to pin this recipe for later!

Fun fact, nicoise stands for ‘in the style of nice’ and any dish labeled as a nicoise would be in the cooking style of Nice, France. These dishes usually incorporate olives, anchovies, tomatoes, and the predominant flavour is often garlic.

In North America you will often see a nicoise salad with tuna or a type of fish, and a lot of restaurants and cuisines use their creative culinary skills to bring you a salad that is incredibly rich in healthy fats, seasonal veggies, and delicious salad dressings.


This healthy nicoise salad is a great combination of carbohydrates, fats, protein and packs a nutritional punch thanks to all the vibrant colors. The best part: you can enjoy it in under 20 minutes and even make it ahead for fuss-free lunches.

The versatility of nicoise salad recipes are just great as well! You can add in any garden vegetable that you like, root veggies, beans, all kinds of leafy greens, tomatoes, and then a full-fat fish pairs perfectly. But, with the fish you can go for a filet, seasoned well with lemon and dill, or a can of flaked tuna or salmon.

On top of it all, the health benefits of this salad nicoise recipe:

  • Is high in healthy fats, and omega 3 rich fish
  • Contains a full spectrum of antioxidants, from a variety of different vegetables
  • Is filling and stabilizes blood sugars
  • Incredibly delicious

Add this salad to your dinner repertoire tonight. Comment below with your favourite way to top your nicoise.

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I love this recipe!! I've made it numerous times over ten years. It is my favorite dish for pot lucks or teacher appreciation lunches, etc. It *always* gets rave reviews. I do go heavy on the mustard and now substitute pesto for the Basil in the dressing. Every time I make it, I wonder why I don't do it more often.

I loved this salad (agreed, not a traditional Nicoise, but who ever heard of a CHICKEN Nicoise, anyway?) And I did modify the dressing -- because there is way too much lemon and not enough mustard and olive oil -- so I just tinkered with it to make a nice, lemony dressing that was to my taste. Also, I suggest making at least 1/2 cup of dressing, so that the salad gets a sufficient coating when tossed. This would be a great and different buffet salad. To feed a crowd, use a whole rotisserie chicken from Costco and increase the amounts of vegetables and dressing accordingly.

way out of balance on the dressing. cut back the lemon, amp up the olive oil and WHERE ARE THE ANCHOVIES. this is a perversion of nicoise salad. I would never toss a nicoise--mon dieu!!

Wondeful!! I added about 1/4 t Light Brown sugar to the dressing to offset some of the tartness. I couldn't find pitted nicose olives and may try the pitted Napa style kalmata olives for the next go. If you enjoyed this looke for the Provencal Salad found in the July 2007 Gourmet. Similar style.

Because this one is a little work I serve it to friends so it's worth the trouble. It' a favorite and leftovers are even better.

Yummy! A little bit of work to chop and cook everything, but the whole family loved it including the kids! Wow. Switched it up a bit to suit what I had on hand, used white wine vinegar and added a little extra olive oil as I found it a tiny bit tart. Served it as one big composed salad with the dressing on the side. With a bit of crusty baguette, a yummy, healthy supper!

It was a hit the very first time that I served it! I can't think of how I would change the recipe.

This was good--we liked it. We had some leftovers, and I saute-ed them up in a skillet. That worked just fine--all the ingredients are saute-able. We got two good meals out of this recipe.

Really tasty salad. I did substitute a few things. Didn't have red pepper, green beans or red onion, but julienned some celery, cooked sugar snap peas from the garden and grated some yellow onion (not too much.) Great dressing! Will make it again when our tomatoes ripen.

Great. Was looking for something to do with leftover chicken and happened to have the rest of the ingredients (including fresh basil) handy. Threw it all together in 15 minutes and was amazed at how great it tasted. This is a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. Teenagers loved it too. I would make this for guests. It's that good.

Wonderful, elegant cold supper and can all be done in advance. I like to group the beans, eggs, pepper slices, etc. as a composed salad around the chicken, instead of tossing it together, which is visually more dramatic. A bowl of vichysoisses first, and chilled white wine to accompany. Yum!

I will make this again and again. Steaming vegetables and grilling chicken in advance is a huge advantage. The dressing was lovely. I tried it with tofu for the veggie in the family and chicken with the rest. Very flavourful.

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