Nicoise Salad

Nicoise Salad

I had a nice Nicoise Salad when having lunch with Holly and Rebecca at The Grove Cafe in Albuquerque (June 2006). I had the dressing on the side and brought home what I didn't use. Charlie and I decided to make a Nicoise salad on our own to use up the dressing. The salad turned out great. We decided it'll be something we make regularly.
This is how we are making it now. We're still experimenting with the dressing, but the one below tastes good.
The ingredients keep well leftover if you let each person mix and dress his/her own salad, i.e., don't mix and dress it ahead of time. Just lay out the ingredients in individual serving plates. They look beautiful. Will make you want to take a picture.
The Recipe serves 2 or 3.
It works well to cook the potatoes, eggs, and green beans several hours ahead of time (or the day before) and store in the frig so they are chilled. But, if you don't make them ahead of time, just run under cold water to cool them off before slicing for the salad.
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 2


  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled, then sliced lengthwise into quarters cooled, peeled, and then sliced lengthwise into quarters
  • 3 small potatoes with skins, cut into quarters and boiled till tender (don't overcook); sliced lengthwise after they are cooled (use something like new potatoes or red rose potatoes)
  • 1 or 2 cups lightly steamed green beans (frozen works ok, cooled)
  • 1 can tuna, drained and flaked. (or cook fresh tuna if you have it, or canned or fresh salmon is good, too)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • fresh leaf lettuce or raw spinach, cleaned and dried
  • capers
  • black olives (optional; lots of recipes suggest nicoise olives)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp. good olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. red wine vinegar (get one that's not too acidic, we've found 5% acidity works well)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced (optional)
  • several leaves of fresh basil (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper (or more or less to taste)


  • Mix dressing ingredients in a blender (or simply shake in a jar if you don't include garlic or fresh basil).
  • Put individual salad ingredients on individual serving plates. Don’t mix ahead of time.
  • Give people large bowls in which to build/mix their own salad and dress as they like.


  • Add anchovies
  • Add red onion


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