Tried & True – Niçoise Salad

This niçoise salad from Simply Recipes is tried & true.

I’ve always loved a good niçoise salad, but this one from Simply Recipes is one of my go-to’s.

There’s a lot of prep involved, but we always prep everything ahead of time and store in the fridge, so we can easily throw them together as needed. The salad is super filling and packs a good amount of protein, so it is perfect for lunch to get you through the day.

You can totally play with the ingredients to add or omit anything, but the original is always a classic. We’ve played around and have added roasted carrots, broccoli, roasted garlic, etc. Sometimes, we just use whatever herbs we have on hand. The recipe has a lot of room for you to adjust as needed.

The photo above is from one of the times we made this recipe and used butter lettuce we are growing in our garden.

6 servings

Ingredients

Vinaigrette
1/3 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or tarragon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad
2 to 3 (5-ounce) cans tuna, drained
hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 1/4 pounds small young red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium heads Boston or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup Niçoise olives
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

Method
Make the vinaigrette:
In a jar, place the oil, lemon juice or vinegar, shallots, herbs, and mustard. Cover with a lid and shake until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Marinate the onion slices in some of the vinaigrette:
Place onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. (The onions soaking in the vinaigrette will help take some of the bite out of them.)

Cook the potatoes, cut, and dress with vinaigrette:
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Heat on high to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

While the potatoes are still warm, cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Place them in a bowl and dress them with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.

Boil the green beans:
While the potatoes are cooking, fill a medium sized pot halfway with water, and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Add the green beans to the boiling water.

Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 3 to 5 minutes (more or less, depending on the toughness of the beans).

Drain and either rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, or shock for half a minute in ice water.

Arrange the salad on a bed of lettuce:
Arrange a bed of lettuce. Mound tuna in the center of lettuce. Sprinkle the tomatoes and onions around the tuna.
Arrange the potatoes and green beans in mounds at the edge of the lettuce.
Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed.
Drizzle everything with the remaining vinaigrette:
Sprinkle with capers if using.

Serve immediately. Should be served slightly warm or at room temperature.

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