I love a big salad packed with just about any combination of vegetables, fruit, and protein you can come up with. I think we’ve well established that with my Italian chopped salad, spring green salad, autumn kale salad, and summer red, white, and blue salad. If those four don’t scream “Give me a bowl with all the variety of fresh goodness,” I don’t know what will. Sometimes, though, what you really want is something a bit more classic. Still fresh and still interesting, but classic nonetheless. Enter this tuna Niçoise salad.
For those of you who are long-time readers (thank you!), you’ll know I don’t tend to make a ton of French recipes. That’s not for any particular reason. I mean, who doesn’t love elegant French cuisine with it’s simple, perfectly executed ingredients and flawless sauces? That’s definitely not how I eat on the regular, though it’s lovely for special occasions. At home, I generally keep it a bit lighter, which makes this tuna Niçoise salad a perfect candidate for my spring and summer salad rotation.
As a classic Niçoise recipe, this salad features the lighter, brighter side of French cuisine you’ll find in the south of France. Each ingredient is simply prepped, so finding the highest quality eggs, olives, fresh vegetables, mustard, and oil-packed tuna you can is key. This doesn’t mean they need to be pricey, just great quality. The components may be simple, but when combined–comme c’est magnifique. A full meal that won’t leave you stuffed and weighed down in the heat of the season. Start shopping for those ingredients now–you’re going to want this tuna Niçoise salad for summer dinners and lunches over and over again.
Simply prepared potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers join tuna, jammy eggs, olives, and a glorious vinaigrette in this classic tuna Niçoise salad.
Tuna Niçoise Salad
adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2023
For the dressing:
¾ c. extra-virgin olive oil
zest of half a lemon
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
For the salad:
6 large eggs
3/4 lb. small new potatoes, halved or quartered if larger
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
2 1/2 c. thinly sliced seedless cucumbers
1 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
3 c. oil-packed tuna
Niçoise or kalamata olives, capers, and/or peperoncini drained well
flaky sea salt
- Place all ingredients for the dressing in a tightly sealed jar. Shake to combine and set aside.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add the eggs and cook 7-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water (keep pot over high heat); chill eggs until cold, about 5 minutes. Peel while submerged in water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring the water back to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook until fork tender, 10-15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove and set aside. Add green beans to the pot and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Ude a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the green beans to bowl of ice water; let sit until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; pat dry.
- To serve, slice eggs in half and arrange on a large platter with green beans and potatoes. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, and tuna. Top with olives, capers, and/or peperoncini, drizzle with dressing, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve with remaining dressing alongside.*Do Ahead: Niçoise salad dressing can be made 5 days ahead; cover and chill. Eggs can be boiled and vegetables blanched 2 days ahead; cover and chill separately.
yield: 6 main course servings