Salad Nicoise, if you’re hungry for summer

salad nicoise |

Salad Nicoise tastes like summer to me.  This is how I generally cook in the summertime, it’s more “assemblage” than cooking and my favorite way to throw together a meal. My daughter mentioned Salad Nicoise on a long car ride home from snowy New England last weekend, while we were talking about what we are looking forward to in summer, and it occurred to me that there’s nothing in Salad Nicoise that makes it necessary to enjoy only in the summer. In fact, I had almost all the ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator when we arrived home, shivering while unpacking our winter gear.

salad nicoise |

Salad Nicoise |

You could dress this salad up by grilling fresh tuna, but I chose to keep with traditional French (and let’s face it, simpler) way of using canned tuna.  I always have a variety of little tomatoes, olives, eggs, lemons, anchovies, garlic and olive oil. All I had to pick up to make this salad today was some fresh Boston lettuce, little potatoes and asparagus. Since it’s (technically) spring, I decided to take the liberty of substituting asparagus for the traditional green beans in this salad.  


salad nicoise |

salad nicoise |

At the market they had some multi-colored potatoes so I chose those since I’m craving color right now. While I was there I also picked up some spicy olives from my favorite olive bar and they have artichoke hearts mixed in with them so I got some of those, too.  I was going to get a french baguette but they had this great looking rustic olive bread and I couldn’t resist.  You may think that I actually could have resisted it but you would be wrong, okay? It’s a non-life-threatening condition and I’ll seek treatment when I’m good and ready. 

salad nicoise |

Let’s talk about the dressing. I love this simple anchovy lemon vinaigrette and it’s very easy to whip up in less than 5 minutes. If you don’t love anchovies, but can tolerate the idea and like lots of salty umami flavor, give it a try because it’s worth it. My hubs doesn’t love anchovies but he ate this tonight and said it’s the best salad he’s ever had. (How can I not cook every night with encouragement like that?) If you can’t stand the idea of anchovies, you can leave them out and add some of your favorite herbs, a little more Dijon mustard, or nothing. If you can’t bear the thought of boiling a few potatoes and eggs AND making salad dressing at the same time….I mean like, it’s just TOO MUCH today…I get it. Take a chill pill. I’ve been there. And here’s what I do when I get there: I buy Briannas Real French Vinaigrette (it’s the one with the artichoke on the label). It’s delicious and there’s nothing bad in it and I won’t tell anyone if you won’t either. Don’t let a little thing like that stop you from enjoying this glorious taste of summer any time of the year. 


Salad Nicoise for Spring with Anchovy Lemon Dressing
Serves 4
Enjoy the flavors of summer all year long in this healthy dinner salad.
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 pound small potatoes, scrubbed
  3. 1/2 lb asparagus spears, bottoms trimmed
  4. 1 head boston or butter lettuce
  5. 1/2 pint small tomatoes, cut in half
  6. 1/2 pint kalamata olives, pits removed
  7. 12 oz. can albacore tuna, in water
  8. Radish slices, optional
  9. Artichoke hearts, optional
  10. 1 garlic clove, minced
  11. 3 anchovy fillets
  12. 1/4 tsp salt
  13. 2 tbsp lemon juice
  14. 1 tsp lemon zest
  15. 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  16. 1/3 cup olive oil
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  1. Boil the eggs for 8 minutes. Cool, peel, cut in half and reserve.
  2. Boil the potatoes in water for 10 minutes, until tender. In the last minute, drop the asparagus into the water with potatoes and cook, then remove all vegetables and cool quickly. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters.
  3. Place the lettuce on a large platter or on individual plates. Arrange all salad ingredients on top of lettuce.
For dressing
  1. Mash garlic, anchovies, and salt to a paste in a small bowl using two forks. Stir in lemon juice, zest and mustard. Whisk in oil until dressing is emulsified.
  2. Serve dressing on salad.
The Table of Contents





  1. Lilmo

    March 28, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Ok so the timing of this is just perfect 👌…it’s one of those things where you say …really??? Bookclub at my house tomorrow debating on the lobster salad from Jamaica (but of course using roasted shrimp ) but on the fence then WHAM this came in my email and Niçoise salad 🥗 why did I not think of it?? Of course it’s the universe (lol) so a large Niçoise salad it is ….thanks again 😘 xo


      March 28, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Get out of here! I’m actually not surprised one bit! 😂 Well, I’ve done the homework & it’s delicious. Pete says so too. Lol only poor Ali didn’t have any yet, even though it was her idea! THANKS, for letting me know. It’s so nice to know I’m not doing this only for my own entertainment. Enjoy! Xoxo

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