Summer Niçoise Salad.
Upping our summer salad game with this vibrant Summer Niçoise Salad. Loaded with potatoes, grilled asparagus, sweet corn, fresh greens, tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, avocado and the most delicious salty, tangy olive oil-based dressing, this summer Niçoise salad is nothing short of awesome. Perfect for summer lunches, dinners or served up at your next backyard dinner party. This salad has something everyone can love.
Do you love a Niçoise salad? Do you know what a Niçoise salad is?
Fingers crossed that the answer to both of these questions is YES. For me personally? Well, I’m taking the plunge into Niçoise salad territory, it’s the first I’ve ever had…or created. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this classic and slightly famous Niçoise salad, it originated in the south of France using ingredients that are commonly found in the markets around Nice. With many people I know traveling to France this summer, I was inspired to create this salad after seeing so many photos of it flying around on Instagram. It just looked so fresh and delicious that I knew I could put my own spin on it!
Enter this very summery Niçoise salad. It has all of the things I love, as well as some new to me additions. It is so GOOD, and definitely not your average, boring, everyday salad.
First, there are a few things a Niçoise salad must-have. Potatoes, salty olives, usually tuna, and always green beans…but as you can see I nixed the green beans for asparagus. I know some of you might find this offensive, as it is and not traditional. But again, this is my summery version of the Niçoise salad.
You’ll want to start by making the dressing. This dressing is very different than any other I’ve previously shared. Why? Well, this dressing contains anchovies. Yes, I know, weird, but they’re so, so, so good. They add a very umami flavor throughout the salad. My trick? Slowly cooking the anchovies in olive to break them down and rid them of any “fishiness”. I promise, once they’ve cooked in the oil, you don’t even realize they’re in the dressing. Yet they add this incredible salty flavor that cannot be replicated. And this is coming from someone who has been scared of anchovies for years…and years. Trust me, you should not fear them, they add something extra special to the dressing.
Just try them, ok? OK, great.
Moving along. The rest of the dressing is pretty simple. Along with the fried anchovies and olive oil, there’s a little garlic, lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper. This dressing is beyond good and can be used on pretty much any other salad as well.
Side note, if the anchovies just totally freak you out, then yes, you can omit them. But I would add a splash of apple cider vinegar and additional salt to make up for the missing flavors.
Once you have the dressing made, start on the actual salad.
Boil your potatoes, grill the asparagus and corn, and then toss the veggies with the dressing. It’s important to toss the potatoes with the dressing while the potatoes are still warm. This really helps the potatoes soak up all the flavors.
Next, gather the rest of the ingredients up…oil-packed tuna, cherry tomatoes, radishes, greens, herbs, and avocados, and then assemble.
A classic Niçoise salad is assembled like I am showing you here, broken up by ingredients. Kind of similar to how you might assemble a cheese board. You don’t have to arrange the salad this way, but it sure makes for a very pretty presentation. If you happen to be serving guests, this allows them to pick and choose the ingredients they’d like.
Plus, it’s just kind of a different way to serve salad, so I’m really all about it!
Here’s the deal, this salad does have some extra components to it. So while it’s not a 20-minute recipe, the time needed to create this is well worth it. And the leftovers are delicious, warm or cold, the following day.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that if you make more than you need, you’re actually meal prepping, and in turn saving time! Cool. Cool.
Most importantly? This is just a really delicious salad that feels extra fancy and extra special. It’s not like any other salad because it’s layered with multiple flavors and textures from salty, to savory, to sweet. It has crunchy veggies, and softer veggies. It’s full of healthy tuna and SO much color. I said this already, but there really is a little bit of everything, and most definitely something for everyone.
New fun summertime salad…now if only I was enjoying this in the south of France. Maybe with this drink in hand…now that would be just wonderful!
If you make this summer Niçoise salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Summer Nicoise Salad.
- 1 pound mixed baby potatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 3-4 ears corn on the cob, husked
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups fresh chopped greens, such as romaine or arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- 1/2 cup mixed Greek olives, pitted
- 6 radishes thinly sliced or quartered
- 2 cans (6 or 7-ounce) tuna packed in olive oil, drained
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ½ cup mixed tender herbs, such as basil, parsley, thyme, and or dill
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional)
1. To make the dressing. Combine the olive oil and anchovies in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until anchovies have broken down into the oil and disintegrated, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, tossing to combine. Mix in the lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, adding more salt, pepper, and oil as needed.
2. To make the salad. Place the potatoes and a tablespoon of salt in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the to heat to medium, simmer 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Drain. Place the potatoes back in the hot pot. Cover the pot and let the potatoes steam for another 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the grill to medium high heat. Toss the asparagus with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus for 3-5 minutes, turning 1-2 times throughout cooking, until light char marks appear. During the same time, grill the corn until charred all over, 5-8 minutes, turning 1-2 times throughout cooking. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob.
4. While still warm, cut the potatoes in half and add to a large serving bowl, tossing them with half of the dressing. Arrange the salad greens, grilled asparagus, corn kernels, tomatoes, olives, radishes, tuna, and avocado around the potatoes. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad. Top with fresh herbs and eggs, if using. Serve slightly warm or at room temp.
*If the anchovies just totally freak you out, then yes, you can omit them, but I would add a splash of apple cider vinegar and additional salt to make up for the missing flavors.
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