Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dinner Salad #1 - Salad Niçoise

(photo from

As promised, below is the first of two dinner salads we are eating this week...

Salad Niçoise is a traditional French Salad from the southern part of France, namely the area around Nice.  The main ingredients are Tuna, hard boiled egg, green beans, tomatoes,  red or white baby or fingerling potatoes and Olives Niçoise.  My family spent 4 years living outside of Nice in France and this became a staple in our summer diet.  In the traditional salad, the tuna is rare, cooked tuna steak cooked with peppery spices.  For my quick summer meal stateside, I am using canned tuna, much to my husband's and son's dismay. The traditional salad also calls for Bibb or Butter lettuce.  I will be trying to use up some of my overabundance of lettuce, so we are going to have a mixture of Butter, Romaine and Red Leaf lettuce.

Salad Nicoise for 4

Mixture of lettuce or all bibb lettuce, enough for a dinner salad for 4
6 baby red or white potatoes, cooked but not mushy, sliced or quartered
2 cans Albacore or regular tuna packed in water, drained
4 hardboiled eggs, sliced or quartered
4-6 Campari Tomatoes, quartered or 12  grape tomatoes, halved
1/4-1/2 lb green beans, cooked (this week I didn't have green beans, so I omitted these)
Pitted Niçoise Olives, or Kalamata if you can't find Niçoise


2-3 T Red Wine Vinegar
Heaping T Dijon Mustard (more or less to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4-1/2 cup Olive oil

Whisk vinegar with mustard, salt and pepper.  Continue whisking while adding olive oil in a continuous stream.  Dressing should take on a creamy  constistency.  Adjust flavors to suit your preferences. This is a very traditional French Dressing.

Layer lettuce, then rest of ingredients in a larg shallow bowl and drizzle with dressing. Serve with good french bread or the bread I blogged about in June!

I have attached an Amazon Link for Olives Niçoise from an olive mill in Opio, France.  This mill was about 2 miles from our house in France and we actually had olives from our yard turned into olive oil at this mill.  When we lived in France, all of our olives and olive oil came from this mill and when we do go back to France to visit, we are sure to bring oil and olives home with us!

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