Baby Red Butter Lettuce Niçoise Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes • Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 main dish salads
- 1 5 oz. clamshell Earthbound Farm Baby Red Butter Lettuce
- 8 eggs
- 1 ½ lbs. Earthbound Farm Organic Red Potatoes
- 1 lb. fresh green beans
- 1 small shallot (2 tablespoons minced)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
- 1 pint Earthbound Farm Organic Cherry Tomatoes (or 1 large tomato)
- 2 cans tuna (omit for vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- LEMON VINAIGRETTE
- ½ large lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon Djon mustard
- ½ cup olive oil
Authors Sonja & Alex Overhiser, A Couple Cooks
What is Niçoise salad?
Niçoise salad is a classic French main dish salad that’s off the charts good, featuring potatoes, eggs, beans, olives & greens covered in a tangy lemon dressing. The French is salade niçoise, meaning “Salad from Nice, France.” It always has the same elements: a bed of greens (many times butter lettuce), blanched green beans, olives, tomatoes, tuna, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s super filling and oh so satisfying. In our rendition, we’ve used Earthbound Farm Baby Red Butter Lettuce, which has the most beautiful maroon and green leaves.
How to pronounce Niçoise? If you don’t speak French, you might be tripped up by the name. It’s easy to say, though: Nee-SWAZ salad.
How to make Niçoise salad
This Niçoise salad is easy to make, but there are quite a bit of elements to prepare. So for easiest prep, make a few things in advance: the hard boiled eggs and lemon vinaigrette are simple to whip up the night before. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could also boil the potatoes and green beans in advance and refrigerate everything: this would make for an incredibly simple prep the day of. If you do it all in one evening, having a friend or spouse help is great too!
This salad is the perfect spring and summer meal for enjoying al fresco, with a glass of white wine or rosé, or even frozen rosé! Serve it with a starter of crostini or bruschetta and you’ve got patio meal perfection.
Cook the hard boiled eggs: Note that you can use the same ice bath for the green beans below. The eggs are also perfect for making in advance.
Boil the potatoes and beans: Fill a large pot with cold water and add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the whole potatoes and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, working in batches, slice off the stem ends of the green beans.
Blanch the beans: Right when the water comes to a boil, start a timer for 5 minutes and place the green beans in the pot with the potatoes. Boil the beans for about 5 minutes until tender but still bright green. Prepare a large bowl of ice water (or use the same one as for the hard boiled eggs). Right when the beans are tender, remove them from the boiling water with tongs and transfer them to the ice bath. Remove the beans and dry them with a towel, then mix them with a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Finish the potatoes: Keep cooking the potatoes for about 3 minutes until fork tender (taste test to check). While they are cooking, mince 2 tablespoons shallot. When the potatoes are done, drain them. When they are cool enough to handle, slice them into bite sized pieces. Place them in a bowl and gently mix in the minced shallot, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Then add the capers, parsley (optional), 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a few grinds black pepper. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
Make the lemon vinaigrette dressing: Zest the lemon. Sprinkle it with the kosher salt, then mince it as fine as possible. Holding the blunt edge of the knife, scrape the sharp edge of the blade over the minced lemon zest, holding the knife at an angle and mashing the lemon zest into a paste. This should only take a minute or two and it doesn’t need to be perfect: just try to get the lemon zest as fine as possible.
Place the lemon zest in a medium bowl and whisk it together with the mustard and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time (8 tablespoons total), until creamy and emulsified. If desired, season with additional salt.
Prep the salad ingredients: Slice the cherry tomatoes in half (or large tomato into wedges) and sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
Drain the tuna and flake it using a fork, then add a few pinches of kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Serve: To serve, in large shallow bowls or on large platters, add Red Baby Butter Lettuce leaves. Top with green beans, hard boiled eggs, tomato, tuna, Kalamata olives, and potatoes. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette and serve.
This recipe uses tuna, which is traditional for Nicoise salad. However, for a vegetarian salad you can omit it and it’s still just as tasty! The potatoes and hard boiled eggs make it a filling vegetarian salad recipe.