A healthy classic nicoise salad made with crisp green beans, fork tender potatoes, soft boiled egg and tuna with a side of a simple french vinaigrette with fresh thyme, ready in 30 min! The perfect busy week night dinner salad.
I first discovered a Nicoise salad while traveling, living and working in Perth Australia. This classic French salad happen to be the featured salad of the week at a small but trendy little cafe/cocktail bar I was bartending at in Subiaco called Pure Bar. I was immediately intrigued by the heartiness and interesting flavour combination of fish, potatoes, olives and green beans.
Since my time in Australia I have been hooked on this simple yet delicious classic Nicoise salad. It is what I like to call a meal of a salad because if you order this at a restaurant I promise you will leave with a full and happy tummy. Since being back in my home Toronto I have been enjoying this salad at one of my favourite restaurants called Terroni where they have their own take on this salad and its DELISH!
This was my first time attempting to make a Nicoise salad at home and to be honest I have no clue why its taken me this long to recreate it since its actually a super simple and easy salad to make.
I mean when you break it down its really just a combination of simple foods like potatoes, beans and egg with tuna and a light french vinaigrette. Dont get me wrong cooking the perfect hard or soft boiled egg can be a bit of a learning curve but once you remember the simple tricks aka “using a timer” you will be just fine 🙂
I wanted to stick to the classic flavours with this salad so for the dressing I opted for the classic Nicoise dressing which consists of fresh thyme, white wine vinegar (which I juts recently stocked in the HealthNut kitchen) and a couple of other simple ingredients which you probably already have laying around in your kitchen.
Potatoes: In a medium saucepan add in mini potatoes and cover with cool water by 1 inch. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat slightly to med-high until water is at a low boil. Cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain, rinse with cool water and let cool. Once cooled to the touch, slice into halves or quarters depending on the size of potatoes. Set aside.
Hard boiled eggs: While potatoes are cooking place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water by 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once water has reached a boil, cover and remove from heat and let sit for 12 minutes.
Jammy soft boiled eggs: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Then using a slotted spoon, slowly lower eggs into water one at a time. Cook for 6½ minutes.
Next, using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a ice bath (bowl with cold water and ice cubes) for 1-2 minutes to cool and stop the cooking. using the back of a metal spoon tap and crack the shell so you can easily peel it away and set aside.
Green Beans: While potatoes & eggs are cooking fill a small saucepan with 2 inches of cool water and bring to a boil. Add in french green beans, cover and boil steam/boil for 3-4 minutes until slightly cooked and bright green. Drain and transfer to an ice bath for 2 minutes to cool and stop the cooking while retaining the bright green colouring. Dry with a clean tea towel and set aside.
On a large plate or platter assemble salad by layering chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, tuna, olives and sliced eggs. Drizzle over dressing and serve!
Simple French Vinaigrette
In a glass jar add in all ingredients and shake well until emulsified together.
Any leftover ingredients can be stored in separate containers for up to 3-4 days and assembled into a salad throughout the week. The dressing will keep well in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.