northwest nicoise salad

Northwest nicoise salad on a blue plate with dressing being poured on top.

This traditional French salad originated in the beautiful city of Nice, in Provence. It is usually made with a high-quality oil-packed canned tuna, green beans, new potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, onion, olives, and capers. It’s a composed salad, with all the colorful ingredients arranged on a bed of lettuce. My local twist uses freshly grilled salmon in place of the canned tuna. I can’t help but feel inspired to make salade niçoise when I’ve discovered fresh tomatoes, green beans, and fingerling potatoes during the high summer months at the farmers’ market.

northwest nicoise salad

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • Herb dressing:
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme,
  • or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary,
  • or ½ teaspoon dried
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salad:
  • ½ pound green beans
  • ½ pound baby new potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pound salmon fillet
  • 1 head Bibb lettuce
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained



In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients except the oil. Drizzle in the oil, whisking, until the dressing has slightly thickened. Set aside.


In a medium saucepan, bring 1½ quarts (6 cups) of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Use tongs or a small strainer to lift the beans from the water. Put them into a bowl and cover with cold water and ice to stop the cooking. Drain after 5 minutes.


Cook the potatoes in the boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are fork-tender. Drain and cut the warm potatoes in half, leaving them at room temperature.


Place the eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water to an inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat; cover and let the eggs sit for 12 minutes. Peel and slice them into quarters.


Brush the salmon fillet with olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Heat the grill to medium high, and cook the salmon until the flesh is opaque.


Divide the lettuce between the individual plates. Arrange the salad ingredients over the lettuce. Drizzle the herb dressing over the salad. Lay the salmon on top while it is slightly warm or at room temperature.

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