French Friday: Salade Nicoise

Bonjour mes amis!
Bienvenue au ma cuisine!
Aujourd’hui – Salade Nicoise.
Once again I will invoke the lovely, VERY French to her last days…Tante Jeanne.
I previously used her quiche Lorraine recipe here
Today, I am {sort of} using her salade nicoise recipe.
Salade Nicoise was reportedly by Julia herself, to be her favorite French salad.
It is mine as well and I very often make a large one and stick it in the fridge in the summer. Nothing is better than working in the hot garden all day than to come inside and eat this lovely chilled salad.
I took the time to investigate a bit before making this out of the grave fear that Tante Jeanne’s recipe could be “wrong”. 
It IS a bit wrong but I’ll tell you why soon. 
The salade nicoise I ate from Jeanne was likely NOT the same one 
she would have made years before, 
or ate when she was growing up in Cannes.
More about that shortly….
David Lebovitz did an investigation of this salade here. 
David uses Jacques Medecin’s recipe who is considered to be 
THE final mot on cette salade.
The BIG caveat is to NOT use potatoes in the salad….oops!
In addition, you will notice that canned tuna, in oil, is the RIGHT ingredient.
Chefs who make it with fresh tuna are doing so because of the persistent American abhorrence of fat….
thank’s to the American Heart Association outdated diet precautions 
and the “eat no fat” campaign waged in the 80’s.
Our problem here is that we eat TOO MUCH of everything and we sit on our arse TOO much.
And, that good food is TOO EXPENSIVE.
Not whether or not we eat fat. 
And, I’m also here to tell you {I have a medical/genetics background}
 that MUCH of the problem is genetics.
I have slightly elevated cholesterol and slightly elevated blood pressure.
I am overweight by 20+ lbs (depending on whose chart you use) 
but my husband has always eaten much worse than I do and is more than 20+ lbs overweight. His BP is fine and so is his cholesterol. 
Age and family genetics play a BIG part. You must follow YOUR OWN best course.
Instead of worrying whether McDonalds is serving bad food….
how about helping farmers to grow GOOD LOCAL FOOD!!!
Look what they serve in the schools!!!
OK….I seem to be ranting a LOT lately….
I think I need a vacation….
in Paris……

Tante Jeanne used boiled potatoes all the time. And David {brave soul} went against that advice as well and used boiled eggs. Julia uses French Potato Salad in hers, which is really cooked, seasoned potatoes. So…c’est la vie and don’t worry be happy! 
I’m putting almost EVERYTHING in mine…..

Julia composes her salad
comme ci
And David mixes his
comme ca
 Ah well, unless Monsieur Jacques is going to use a baton to my tete…..
I’m braving criticism too!
Here’s why Tante Jeanne’s recipe was a bit different. 
Her husband had developed pancreatitis and was not supposed to have any 
(in her translation) fat or oil. 
He, of course, cheated religiously, but at home “NON” was the operative word. 
So,  NON to eggs, NON to anchovies, NON to Kalamata olives, NON to oil packed tuna 
and she used VERY little olive oil….
c’est dommage. 
She added potatoes but just boiled potatoes.
The salad as I ate it was bland but still very tasty. 
I make the inexpensive version in general because I just can’t afford a $30 salad for dinner…..
yes, that is what it cost to make this particular version in this amount. 
Remember, there are 7 of us here four of which are teenagers!
If you read David’s article you remember that Salade Nicoise is a composed salad similar to our American Cobb salad. But, tossing is perfectly fine as well….it depends on the presentation you prefer. 
I am doing BOTH {simply because I am SO talented} because I want you to see the composed version and then I can let it sit until dinnertime when I’ll toss it all together…..why?
 I have experienced too many people who decide they will take half the tomatoes and half the olives and most of the eggs…
leaving the leftovers for others……
not fair and BAD MANNERS!
My favorite scene in You’ve Got Mail is when Tom Hanks scrapes off most of the caviar on a dinner buffet salad making Meg Ryan shriek
 “What are you doing? That is a garnish!”….
He just smugly digs in again for another scoop 
and she instantly hates him and walks away……
so funny…
Here is my version. I have only included the salad ingredients below.
 Julia’s French potato salad recipe is here

Salade Nicoise
{my version…to feed 7-8}
16 oz fresh green beans
{haricot vert if you like….I did for today}
cooked to just done in salted water and chilled
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and halved
3 anchovies packed in oil 
{chop up if you need to hide them}
7 oz jar pitted kalamata olives 
1 lb nice small tomatoes, cut in half, salted and put in a colander to drain
{mine seemed a bit seedy so I seeded them a bit}
1 small red onion, sliced very thinly
5 white potatoes, peeled
{refer to Julia’s french potato salad recipe for cutting and cooking instructions}
7-8 oz cooked, chilled Fava beans or the edamame I used
Flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1-2 tablespoons good Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
a splash of dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk vigorously or shake in a jar if you are making more.
This makes a small amount to drizzle over the salade nicoise.
refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Gather your stuff
Peel and cut the potatoes and tomatoes.
Put the tomatoes in a colander with some salt to drain.
Cook all the things that need cooking…
Lots of pots yes…but they aren’t very dirty so they washed up in a jiff…
Cook until just tender….and then chill with a rinse under cold water or a bath of ice and water.
I don’t remember if I told you I chose the edamame simply because I couldn’t find fava 
and they were very pretty and bright green!
Make the dressing for the potatoes
Adjust the salt and pepper while it is still warm.
Open up, chop or prepare whatever else you are using.
I drained the oil off the tuna and mixed the tomatoes, red onion and tuna together 
just because I wanted to….
Start assembling…..
This required a large platter but you can use multiple platters too.
Beans first….
Potato salad and tomato salad
Eggs in the center, beans and olives, then a sprinkling of some chopped parsley 
and chopped anchovies .
Et Voila!!!
 You can also place this on a bed of lettuce, mesclun mix, or any other type you like.
Try and choose a lettuce which will not overpower the flavors you WANT to taste.
I would not toss it with lettuce but if you want to serve individual salads,
 arrange it on top of the lettuce.
Tres jolie, n’est ce pas?
I couldn’t get the wine back in the bottle so I had to drink it…..
always sacrificing, that’s me…..


  1. That’s one purdy salad, but I need to know if Tante Jeanne has any pastry recipes you’re hiding? Something with some cream cheese?


  2. Okay, that looks great but nothing like what Tante Jeanne made. I like her simple one, but may try this one as well. I’d definitely have to mix as no one here will miss the little anchovy pieces and will grill me on what those green pea things are and promptly refuse to eat them based on….nothing! Looks beautiful, you’ll have to inbox me and let me know how the Mongolian Horde took to it!

  3. I am not big on salads but this one looks YUMMY!!!!

  4. I could make a meal out of that beautiful salad! Visiting from Foodie Friday.

  5. This looks great! Thanks for sharing at Beautify it Monday, we hope you’ll be back next week!

  6. One of my all time favorites! Whenever I visit Provence I eat salad nicoise at every opportunity and it’s amazing how many ways it is prepared.

  7. Beautiful spread.

  8. Yum Yum Yum!

    I’m going to start a monthly party at my blog and would love you to join. Check out my blogg from 1st of May for more info. And also maybe become a new happy follower?! 🙂

  9. The perfect summer meal and so pretty to look at.
    Have fun at Haven…behave yourself wild woman!
    Tina recently posted…Laughin’ and a runnin’, hey hey…My Profile

  10. Looks lovely…nothing like a beautiful, crisp, cool salad on a hot summer day!
    Danni@SiloHillFarm recently posted…LINK PARTY AT THE INSPIRATION CAFEMy Profile

  11. I smell D A N G E R ! You and Kirby on a road trip- be careful!
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