If you are a traditionalist–especially if you are a French traditionalist–you probably want to just cruise by this recipe. It breaks some rules of the classic niçoise, like using salmon instead of tuna or anchovies, using normal green beans instead of fava beans, and adding some boiled new potatoes. I don’t care so much about tradition in this case. The salad works, and the ingredients are all easy to find and easy to prepare.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Quick Herb Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1 cup green beans, ends removed
  • ½ head green lettuce
  • 6-8 ounces (1 heaping cup) flaked cooked salmon
  • 1 medium ripe tomato, cut into wedges
  • cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¼ cup sliced red onion

Method

  1. For herb vinaigrette: Make sure to mince fresh herbs very finely. If you are using dry basil and thyme, reduce thyme to ½ teaspoon and basil to 1 teaspoon. Whisk together herbs, shallot, and lemon juice. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk furiously to combine ingredients. Season with mustard, salt, and pepper. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake it like crazy to mix together the dressing. Extra dressing will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  2. For the salad: First, hard boil the eggs. Add eggs to a medium pot and cover with cold water. The water should be at least 3 to 4 inches above the eggs. Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, keep covered, and let eggs cook for 14 minutes.
  3. You can use the same water to cook the beans and potatoes. Remove eggs, rinse in cold water, and set aside. Return the pot to high heat, season water with a big Pinch of kosher salt, and return to a simmer.
  4. When water is simmering, add potatoes and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes and add green beans. Blanch green beans until they are bright green and still slightly crispy, about a minute. Remove green beans and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
  5. Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut the eggs into quarters. Roughly chop potatoes and cut green beans into 2-inch pieces.
  6. Rinse and dry the lettuce, and chop it into bite-size pieces.
  7. Split ingredients evenly on two plates, starting with lettuce and adding the cooked eggs, potatoes, and green beans, then the salmon, tomatoes, olives, capers, and red onion.
  8. Drizzle dressing over salads. Start with just a tablespoon or two of dressing and then let people add extra dressing to their salads if desired.
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