Salade Nicoise

Published July 1, 2002.

Why this recipe works:

For our ideal salad Niçoise recipe, we wanted to put together well-dressed, well-seasoned components that would complement rather than crowd one another. We paired fruity extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice to create the base of the vinaigrette, then added fresh thyme, basil, oregano,… read more

For our ideal salad Niçoise recipe, we wanted to put together well-dressed, well-seasoned components that would complement rather than crowd one another. We paired fruity extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice to create the base of the vinaigrette, then added fresh thyme, basil, oregano, shallot, and Dijon mustard to deepen the flavor. We used only the finest tuna, vine-ripened tomatoes, butterhead lettuce, fresh green beans, freshly boiled eggs, and Red Bliss potatoes—and seasoned and dressed each component of the salad individually.

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Serves 6 as a light main course

Prepare all of the vegetables before you begin cooking the potatoes and this salad will come together very easily. The classic garnish of tiny, briny, piquant Niçoise olives is a hallmark of salade Niçoise. If they're not available, substitute another small, black, brined olive (do not use canned olives). Anchovies are another classic garnish, but they met with mixed reviews from our tasters, so they are optional. If you cannot find tuna packed in olive oil, substitute water-packed solid white tuna, not tuna packed in vegetable oil. (Among water-packed tunas, StarKist solid white took top honors in our tasting of 10 leading brands.) Compose the salad on your largest, widest, flattest serving platter. Do not blanket the bed of lettuce with the other ingredients; leave some space between the mounds of potatoes, tomatoes and onions, and beans so that leaves of lettuce peek through.

Ingredients

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