Salade Niçoise is one of my favorite types of salad. I just love all of the colors, flavors, and textures that it has to offer. Plus, the fresh ingredients are packed with nutrients! This salad is perfect for a refreshing, yet filling lunch or dinner. And, of course, my recipe is only made with healthy, real food ingredients and is paleo and Whole30-friendly!
There are many varieties of Niçoise-style salads with various ingredients and dressings. I’ve taken all of my favorites and literally loaded this salad to the brim with goodies! If you’re going to eat a salad, might as well make it exciting, right? In this salad you’ll find a bed of little gem or baby romaine, French potato salad, fresh tuna, perfectly boiled eggs, juicy little tomatoes, haricots verts, Niçoise olives, capers, anchovies, red onion, chives, and a delicious fresh herb dressing loaded with tarragon. OMG #alltheflavors 😍
My salad recipe is inspired by a variety of different sources, the most notable being the queen of American-French home cooking: Julia Child. I just love her. Her style of cooking is timeless, not too fussy, and always flavorful.
Just one note about the cooking process: I like to make this recipe using one pot to cook the tuna, potatoes, eggs, and green beans so that there are fewer dishes to wash in the end. However, if you’re looking to save some time (about 10 minutes) in the cooking process, cook the tuna in a separate pan while the potatoes are cooking. The following instructions are for the time-saving method.
There are a few modifications that can be made to suit your dietary needs. For a low carb/keto option, try replacing the potatoes with steamed cauliflower. Still super delicious! For Whole30, make sure to omit the white wine.
Let’s talk anchovies for just a sec. If you do not care for the taste of anchovies, those may be omitted. But I’ve gotta say, if you’ve never tried anchovies but generally like other fish and salty things, I think you should give them a try. They’re so good! Wrap one fillet up in a big piece of crunchy lettuce, then try it. I think you’ll be surprised. For good quality anchovies at a reasonable price, check out Agostino Recca brand. I usually buy the fillets packed in olive oil for ease of use, but if you buy the salt-packed whole anchovies, make sure to soak in water and fillet them before using in this recipe.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: all of the ingredients can be prepped and cooked ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until needed! Perfect for a make-ahead dinner for the family, a luncheon for the ladies, or meal prep! Make sure to add the dressing to the lettuce just before serving to prevent wilting. This recipe makes 2 servings, so just double or triple the recipe for a crowd 🙂
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 10 ounces (280g) sustainably caught tuna fillets
- 2 handfuls (~10 oz) petite/baby potatoes (1 to 1.5" diameter)
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp dry white wine (skip for Whole30)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 5 oz haricots verts (thin, stringless green beans), washed and ends removed
- 2 heads little gem or baby romaine, leaves separated, washed, and thoroughly dried
- 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup Niçoise or kalamata olives, drained
- ½ cup prepared artichoke hearts, drained
- 8 large capers, drained
- 6 anchovy fillets, drained and patted dry
- 1 small handful chives, roughly chopped
- lemon wedges for serving, if desired
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternately, you can made this dressing in a jar by finely chopping the herbs, adding all ingredients to a medium-sized jar and shaking until emulsified.
- Remove tuna from refrigeration about 20 minutes before beginning (while you are prepping the vegetables).
- Rinse tuna fillets with cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with a bit of sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
- While waiting for the water to boil, heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the tuna fillets in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side for 1" fillets. Adjust cooking time based on the thickness of your fillets. Remove tuna to a plate and allow to cool for 10 minutes then place in the refrigerator.
- Once you have a rolling boil, boil the potatoes for about 5 minutes or until they are just tender enough to easily pierce with a fork. If your potatoes are larger than about 1.5" in diameter, you may need to cook longer. Drain and cut in half while they are still hot. Place potato halves in a bowl, pour in white wine and ¼ tsp sea salt, and gently toss with a silicon spatula. Set aside.
- Pour a glass of the wine for yourself. A little wine for the food and a little wine for the cook. That's what my mom always says 🙂
- Place eggs in the pot and cover with room temperature water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Right when it comes to a boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice bath in a bowl. After the 10 minutes, carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them in the ice bath. Once the eggs have cooled (about 5 mins), carefully remove their shells under running water, then place them in the refrigerator.
- Place about ½ inch of water in the pot and place a steaming basket on top. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, place the haricots verts in the steaming basket, cover with the lid, and steam for 2½ minutes. Remove the haricots verts and plunge directly into an ice bath to retain the brilliant green color and stop the cooking process. Once they have cooled, dry with paper towels and place in a shallow bowl.
- Remove the tuna and eggs from the refrigerator. Roughly flake the tuna using forks or your hands. Slice the eggs in halves or quarters.
- Spoon 2 tsp dressing onto the potatoes and gently toss with a silicon spatula. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Spoon 1 tsp dressing onto the haricots verts and gently toss with tongs or fingers. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Brush dressing onto lettuce leaves with a pastry brush OR drizzle on and toss using tongs or fingers.
- Now it's time to arrange the salad! You can arrange on a serving platter or on individual plates.
- Lay down the lettuce leaves first, then pile on the toppings how ever you'd like! I'll list them off so you don't forget anything: lettuce, tuna, potato salad, haricots verts, eggs, onion slices, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, capers, anchovies and chives. Then drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
- Bon appétit!
Did you like the recipe? What are your thoughts on anchovies? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!
*Disclosure: Kit’s Coastal is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.