La Salade Niçoise: Diana’s Test Kitchen French Recipe #3

“It must be the finest summer salad of all.”  Chef Gordon Ramsay

 

One variation of a salade niçoise!

 

It was in Nice where this salad originated, that I had my first “salade niçoise”.

That was more than 40 years ago but I still remember that it was was lunchtime and I was dining with a friend in a restaurant facing the brilliant turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

We were sipping a cold crisp Sauvignon Blanc when the waiter arrived at our table carrying two beautifully composed salad plates bursting with colours that felt like they had been personally kissed by the sun.

Before us was an astounding medley of the reddest tomatoes, fresh sliced tuna, hard-boiled eggs, anchovies, lettuce, and I don’t remember what else.

 

Another variation with onions!

 

No Two Salads Look The Same

Since then on my numerous trips back to France, I had ordered a “salade niçoise” in many places outside of Nice, including Paris — and each has been slightly different. Some had more ingredients, others less.  And of course, the presentation always varies. No two salads have ever looked the same which always makes it a bit of surprise.

 

A salade nicoise I had in Paris!

My Cooking Tips

In the world of professional French cuisine, the traditionalists and the innovators quarrel over the boundaries of what began as a simple salad for the poor! And it continues to be a lively debate.

So, dear readers, I now add my version – one that straddles the in-between.  My ingredients include the usual ones but then I also add small boiled potatoes, and steamed green beans.  And my own twist — a strip of crispy bacon.

 

 

Some French chefs might send me to the guillotine for that but trust me, it makes it so delicious.

As someone who does not cook much, the only complaint I have are the number of elements to get together.  I cheat a little by boiling my eggs and potatoes in the same pot — and then on top of that saucepan, steaming the beans.

It’s fast and it works.

 

Boiling eggs and potatoes together saves time.

 

My improvised steamer for beans on top of the eggs and potatoes!

 

Ready in a Giffy! Diana’s Niçoise Salad for Two

 

The perfect summer lunch!

 

Ingredients

Two Boiled Eggs

One Can of Tuna

Four Small Potatoes

Black olives, niçoise or kalamata

Two small Tomatoes

Four Anchovy Filets

Fresh crisp Lettuce (any kind)

Two strips of Bacon

Two sprigs of Parsley

Ground Black Pepper

Dressing

You can serve this just with a really fine Olive Oil

Or

With a French vinaigrette made up primarily of white wine vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard.

The trick is to make sure the dressing emulsifies.

Epicurious has a good recipe that makes about half a cup.

Tell me about your favourite summer salad!

21 Comments

  1. Dee Poquette on July 21, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Perfection. Love the addition of crisp bacon!

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      It is optional but so good!

  2. Twink on July 21, 2019 at 7:40 am

    When would you like me to arrive?
    Can I bring dessert?

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      Anytime!!!

  3. lagatta à Montréal on July 21, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Personally, I don’t think bacon “goes” in this recipe. People do eat meat and fowl in the region, but most protein there came from the sea. I do like the addition of small fresh green beans and potatoes. And fresh herbs.

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      Hi again Lagatta — Yes that is why I said I might be sent to the guillotine. Bacon is sacrilege in a Nicoise! I like it but it is definitely optional!

  4. Shardie Stevenson on July 21, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I love this version BFF and would only change how I did the tuna … solid tuna pieces or sushi grade. Yummy!!!! Let’s share this for lunch very soon! ❤️❤️

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Fresh tuna would of course be brilliant! Diana

  5. Christine Kowal on July 21, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Oh my Goodness Diana I love your version. First time I had salad nicoise. I was studying Fine Art at Queens’ University and working at a local Kingston restaurant Chez Piggy. I lived at Rose and Zalman’s farm where I had my first beautiful real studio in the country. Zalman was a member of the 60’s band ‘The Loving Spoonful’. It was one of the most incredible times of my life, kind of like now, everything was changing and I was discovering the possibilities of who I could be. It was one of my favourite meals at Chez Piggy. When I see salad nicoise on a menu, not that often in Canada, it brings back so many wonderful memories. Thank you for your blog and I love your addition of bacon. Bacon yum. Sorry Piggy’s I love you too.

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:18 pm

      What a wonderful memory Christine! Imagine how perfect it would have been if Chez Piggy had featured
      their Nicoise with bacon! Oh the French are going to burn me at the stake! Thanks for sharing your story Christine! Diana

  6. lagatta à Montréal on July 21, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I use good tinned tuna – usually Portuguese – in olive oil.

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      Excellent!

  7. Tamara on July 21, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    That looks tasty and considering I am not the saviest in the kitchen surely something I can try to master. Love the bacon idea. Would be nice to make this for the family…of course Diana Bishop and Paris inspired. I’ll let you know if I try it out for a lunch. And I’ll let you know if my guests enjoyed it as well. Yum yum. Tamara

    • Diana Bishop on July 21, 2019 at 8:05 pm

      Easy to make Tamara and the bacon is optional! You can make a big plate of it and have people serve themselves. Diana

  8. lagatta à Montréal on July 21, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    That is an EXCELLENT idea, especially if you have Jewish or Muslim guests, or people who have pretty much given up red (mammalian) meat. I’m thrilled by the quality tuna, and even mackerel, we get at Fruiterie Milano and Portugese shops a bit south of here. They don’t view quality tins as a cheap substiute.

    I’m making lentilles du Puy, and something similar to bacon but less fatty is going into the mix, as well as red onions, finely chopped carrots, parsley and herbs. I also have some duck fat! This is rich, but can be served with a green salad.

  9. Timmithea Leeds on July 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I didn’t know a salad could be so controversial!

    I do love hearing of the variations. I have a salad nearly everyday and look forward to trying a piece of apple-bacon for a variation! My first La Salade Nicoise was at a French restuarant in Escondido, CA called a Delight of France. It used to be operated by a true Frenchman and has changed hands since, but still prepares the same dishes and wonderful pastries handmade daily! My second French dish I love is Volauvent. I still don’t understand how French women can be so thin with all the wonderful food! Seriously!

    Again, love hearing the variations. Always willing to trying something new or with a twist! Bon appetit!

  10. lagatta à Montréal on July 24, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    My first Salade niçoise. If not you are saying my first the Niçoise salad.

    Vol-au-vent.

    Not all Frenchwomen are fashionably slim. Differences in social classes and urban – suburban -rural.

    • Diana Bishop on July 26, 2019 at 10:51 am

      Thanks for the French women’s perspective Iagatta! Diana

  11. Timmithea Leeds on July 24, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Lol! Just learning French- literally I got the Duo App and practice everyday! It’s a shame that Americans don’t learn a second, or third langauge in our public schools. Never too late, right? Thanks for the correction-Salade nicoise… and Vol-au-vant! The best- my mouth is watering.

    Prehaps it like anything else- when you are pregnant you notice all the pregnant ladies in public. It’s like you are all pregnant! Well, I’m not tall and thin, but maybe that is all I saw because of my preconceived notions? Anyway, most of the women I saw in France were beautiful, and beautifully dressed. Also, they had great manners.

    I have only visited Saint-Germain and look forward to visiting other parts of France soon, I hope! I appreciate all the stories shared about France. It’s the best way to learn what it is really like. So, thank you!

    • Diana Bishop on July 26, 2019 at 10:50 am

      Christine Camm is where I tell my readers to go when looking for a few French lessons — they are loving it! Check out SimplyFrenchonline.com

  12. Patricia Carroll on July 25, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I like them all, but whilst strawberries are
    In season, a little bit of sliced strawberry hits the taste buds beautifully…….Hello? What’ s that, you say….Ah.la .fraise……,,extraordinaire !

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