Nicoise Salad is really called a salad composée, because it’s not tossed, but rather “composed”, on a serving platter or plate.
Nicoise means, from Nice. You don’t have to “compose” a salad, but it does make a nice presentation. While a Nicoise Salad is traditionally arranged on a platter, as I was carefully preparing it, I noticed that a lot of the ingredients might already be in your fridge. I’m sure the original Nicoise Salad was created by a clever French housewife using up left-overs.
“Hey, what can we do with these leftover green beans?” “Throw them in tonight’s salad!”
I don’t like canned tuna, so I use canned wild Alaskan salmon instead. The small Nicoise olives are traditional, but feel free to substitute Kalamata or Greek olives. The homemade vinaigrette is classic and simple. Once you taste a homemade vinaigrette, you’ll never settle for bottled dressing again. So, although I give you the “Classic” recipe for a Nicoise Salad, I would hope that you might use red potatoes instead of yellow, asparagus instead of green beans, anchovies, artichoke hearts, or marinated mushrooms, making your own version of a salad composée.
Top the Nicoise salad with the perfect hard boiled egg.
- Bibb or butter lettuce
- ½ pound, about 6, cooked potatoes, red, yellow, or fingerling
- 1 bell pepper, sliced, I found those cool little guys, red, yellow and orange in a big bag and used 2 of each color, yellow, red and orange.
- ½ pound green beans, cooked.
- 3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- A handful of black olives, like Kalamata, Nicoise, Greek
- Cherry tomatoes
- 2 cans of Wild Alaskan Salmon, or Tuna, drained
- Layer the lettuce around a platter.
- Add layers of veggies.
- Fill in with capers and olives
- Serve dressing on the side.
- 1½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red or white vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh, minced thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a a bowl. Serve the dressing on the side.