Despite the fact that the photo above shows my Nicoise Salad tossed together; I prefer to prepare it the way Julia Child presents Nicoise Salad in her many books- as a composed salad. I prepare all the ingredients separately and arrange them separately on a platter. Ideally, your guests (like the group I prepared for in the photo) will enjoy all the components; but if they don’t, they have the opportunity to choose what they like.
I’ve noticed for awhile that many restaurants serve this salad with fresh rare tuna lying on top of the other ingredients. My personal preference is to use canned dark Italian tuna packed in oil like “Julia” did.
I urge you to serve this salad at room temperature and let the flavors really shine. Plastic wrapped, ice cold bowls of salad taken from the fridge just don’t do it justice. You can prepare all the elements of this salad a day in advance. The next day, remove them from the fridge, arrange the platter and let the salad come to room temperature before serving. Trust me, it makes a big difference. Serve Balsamic Vinaigrette or Lemon Vinaigrette on the side.
Note: Slice the eggs right before adding them to the platter.
Prep time: 30 minutes
By May 29, 2014Published:
- 8 Servings
- 2 cups Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds fresh haricots verts or green beans washed and trimmed
- 1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes cleaned-not peeled
- 1 small Red Onion minced
- 8 large ripe plum tomatoes (3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes) rinsed
- 4 large eggs
- 24 ounces dark canned tuna packed in oil
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata Olives
- 1 large Boston lettuce washed and well dried
- 2 ounces anchovies-drained optional
- medium saucepan with cover
- medium mixing bowl
- large serving platter
- Steam haricots verts/green beans. Drain them in colander. Rinse with a lot of ice cold water, pat dry and set aside.
- Boil potatoes about 10 minutes until they are tender yet firm. Let them cool somewhat before cutting them into quarters and placing them in mixing bowl. Add minced onion to potatoes with 1/3 cup of vinaigrette. Toss gently. Set aside.
- To boil eggs so that they retain a bright yellow yolk: Place eggs in saucepan. Pour enough water over them so they are submerged. Bring to a boil. Cover saucepan and remove from heat. Let eggs steam in the water for 12 minutes. Drain eggs. Rinse them under cold water and peel.
- Choose the most delicious tomatoes available. If Jersey tomatoes are available-use them, and cut them into attractive wedges. Do the same with plum tomatoes if they are running better. Another option is to use a pint of cherry tomatoes on the vine or pear tomatoes. Slice tomatoes and set aside.
- Drain anchovies if you are adding them to salad.
- To assemble salad: Line serving platter with lettuce leaves. Drain oil from tuna and arrange down the center of the platter. Arrange sections of beans, tomatoes and marinated potatoes around tuna. Arrange quartered eggs (and optional anchovies) over the tuna. Scatter olives over the entire salad. Serve remaining Vinaigrette on the side.