Salade-Nicoise

Salade Nicoise~ A French Composed Salad

Megan Main Dishes, Whole Food Recipes 26 Comments

I am blessed to have great memories of a childhood filled with gourmet meals.

tldancer

One of the places my mom would take me for special lunches was Cafe LauTrec in La Jolla, California (in operation from 1973-2007). The walls were covered with giant, bright paintings by Toulouse LauTrec and we would always order the Salade Nicoise.

I share it with you today, very similar to the version they served: with marinated dilled onions, blanched green beans, vine-ripened tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs and fresh tarragon, the perfect French herb.

 

 

I have used home-cured olives, sardines in place of tuna and made a very special Creamy Tarragon-Hemp Salad Dressing.

Salade-Nicoise

I am actually a fan of all seafood: tuna, sardines, salmon. Later this month I’ll be posting an article on my views about seafood, why I believe it to be a safe and recommended protein source. You can either take my word for it and make this salad right away, or wait a bit and pin this baby for later.

In the meantime, I chose sardines because they are high in calcium, having all their little bones canned fish varietiescanned with them. Brisling sardines are baby sardines. Their texture and overall appeal are superior to full size sardines.ย  Anchovies work great too, and fresh canned anchovies are small and mild like sardines, not salty; so they make a nice alternative. Vacuum packed albacore tuna is another good choice, although it won’t have the same calcium benefits as fish packed with their bones. More nutrients are preserved with this method of packaging, including fragile omega-3’s. There are a few companies now processing their tuna in this way. I also like canned salmon, with the skin and bones included.

If you’re not a fan of canned fish or have it in your budget to go hardcore gourmet, fresh salmon, baked or sauteed, or seared ahi tuna make a beautiful Salade Nicoise. You won’t get the calcium benefits of the little bones. But the feast will be more guest-worthy.

This salad also uses pastured eggs, full of good cholesterol and omega-3’s. Since green beans and tomatoes are not yet in season, and asparagus soon will be, consider making the salad seasonally with slight variations based on what’s growing locally.

The lettuce used in Salade Nicoise goes by three names: Boston, Butter or Bibb. It’s the loveliest lettuce, in my opinion, truly deserving of a name like, Butter.

Lastly, all Salades Nicoise feature potato salad, dressed simply in olive oil and sea salt, sometimes with roasted tri-veggies~ Salade Nicoiseshallots and fresh herbs. This is a great option and offers resistant starch for those who can have potatoes. If your diet is starch-free, I have made my recipe (GAPS-friendly) with three roasted root vegetables that definitely have the same appeal and a similar flavor profile to roasted potato salad. They add a bit of glory to the salad, so delicious: rutabaga, black radish and celery root.

 

Salade Nicoise
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This salad may either be composed on individual serving plates or on one large platter, from which each diner can serve themselves.
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1-2 hours
Salade Nicoise
Yum
Print Recipe
This salad may either be composed on individual serving plates or on one large platter, from which each diner can serve themselves.
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1-2 hours
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1-2 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Remove outer leaves from head of lettuce. Chop 1/2 of them. Arrange the remaining outer leaves on the bottom of the serving platter, or place 1-2 on each individual plate. Place the chopped lettuce in the center of the platter or individual plates.
  2. Place Marinated Dilled Onions in the center of the platter/plates.
  3. Arrange all the other components decoratively around the onions: greens beans, hard-boiled eggs, sardines, tomatoes, olives, the center heart of the head of lettuce, and the roasted root veggies.
  4. Garnish with the fresh tarragon and black pepper. Drizzle decoratively with the dressing and serve the remaining dressing on the side.
Recipe Notes

*To perfectly hard boil eggs~ Place them in a saucepan of lightly salted room temperature or cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Once it's boiling, cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 6 minutes. Plunge them or rinse them in cold water. Peel and serve. (Eggs that are less fresh will peel more easily.)

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Salade Nicoise

Blanched Green Beans
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Servings Prep Time
6 servings 25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 25 minutes
Blanched Green Beans
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Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 servings 25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Bring water and salt to a boil.
  2. Add the green beans and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  4. Chill until ready to serve.
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Dilled Marinated Onions
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Servings Prep Time
5 servings 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 5 minutes
Dilled Marinated Onions
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Servings Prep Time
5 servings 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and chill until ready to serve, ideally 20 minutes or longer.
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Roasted "Potato" Salad~ Rutabaga, Celery Root and Black Radish
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Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1 hour
Roasted "Potato" Salad~ Rutabaga, Celery Root and Black Radish
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Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1 hour
Servings Prep Time
5 servings 1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the veggie cubes with the oil and sea salt, to coat.
  3. Spread them evenly on a large cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes.
  4. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
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Find the Creamy Tarragon-Hemp Dressing here.

Salade-Nicoise

  • Renee Kohley

    Oohhhh! I love salads like this! All the eggs and the fish – yummy!

  • Marjorieann1977

    Sounds delicious! This might just get me to enjoy sardines!

  • Jessica David, CHC

    I hate to admit this but I have never had sardines. I like the salad recipe. The hemp dressing at the end sounds fabulous.

  • I love a nicoise salad! Seriously one of my favorite things. This post made me really hungry!

  • I have a friend who would love this… he loves drinking the juice our of canned sea food. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • tashenawa

    How funny! Now I know the name of the delicious salad I concoct at work! Definitely my type of salad ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Renee, so sweet!! So glad!

  • Megan Stevens

    Yes, try those brisling babies; they make world of difference!

  • linda spiker

    Beautiful salad! Love the variety and the colors!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Jessica, they’re worth a try and yes, you’ll love this dressing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh yay, that’s a good thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Wow, he rivals me on that one! I give ours to the kitty! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh nice! You recreated a classic I think!

  • Raine Saunders

    I love, love, love hard boiled eggs and all the seafood mentioned here for options in the recipe! What a beautiful, nutritious salad! The accompaniments look wonderful too!

    By the way, I love your new banner! It’s beautiful!

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    I love everything about this salad. It also happened to be one of my mom’s favorite salads. Lovely recipe Megan! Thanks.

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh yay, that’s fun to hear. Thanks, Emily!!

  • Megan Stevens

    Thank you, Raine, I so appreciate your kind words!! <3

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Linda!

  • I have sardines in my freezer and have yet to try them. This may work perfectly!

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh nice!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • naturalfitfoodie

    OMG Megan you have no idea how much I LOVE salads. I usually have some kind of seafood with my salad and sardines are my fave. I’m gonna try this combination it sounds delish!

  • Chloe

    Yum! What a gorgeous salad!

  • Loriel

    Holy wow! That is an amazing salad.

  • Megan Stevens

    Thank you, so so glad!! I love hearing from others who love sardines!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Megan Stevens

    Thanks, Chloe!

  • Megan Stevens

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks, Loriel!