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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.

overhead photo of Summer Niçoise Salad

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.

photo of Summer Niçoise Salad dressing in jar

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.

Summer Niçoise Salad ingredients on cutting board

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!

overhead close up photo of Summer Niçoise Salad in bowl

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!

overhead photo of Summer Niçoise Salad in bowl with hand on bowl

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.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 408 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*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. 

horizontal photo of Summer Niçoise Salad

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Comments

  1. Hi Tiegen! I just made the dressing as directed, but it is not emulsifying. Any suggestions? Blender, immersion blender? Not sure what to do as the oil is just sitting on the top of the jar. Hum…thanks for your help!

    1. Hey Susan,
      The oil will separate, that’s just the nature of the dressing, you just need to shake it well before serving. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jaimee,
      That should work well for you! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Made this salad for dinner and it was absolutely delicious, even though I forgot the eggs! Will definitely make this regularly. I’m grateful to be able to freely access your recipes and know they will be winners. You are incredibly talented and a blessing. Thank you Tieghan

      1. Hey Laura,
        This recipe makes 6 servings. I hope you love the dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this salad and will definitely make again. Not only was it easy to assemble but the presentation was great. I did use the anchovies in the dressing. They added the perfect amount of savory to the olive oil, lemon and garlic. A very classy meal.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious! I am not from France so I cannot rip you to pieces about its authenticity, but my family is your biggest fan!!! I used grilled shrimp because I had it, but otherwise it was exact. The perfect dinner to enjoy the summer’s bounty! My daughter and I both make many of your dishes for daily life and we appreciate you so much for making beautiful, user friendly recipes!

  5. 5 stars
    Outstanding Nicoise dressing!! Breaking the anchovies down in the hot oil and infusing with garlic imparts such a fabulously intoxicating flavour that really made this salad. I’ll never go back to anchovy paste now that I’ve discovered this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    OMG this was incredible! Didn’t have anchovies so used Worcestershire sauce and a few drops of Thai fish sauce in the dressing. Used a spinach & arugula base, substituted green beans for asparagus, and added capers. We POLISHED this off for dinner – I didn’t know a salad could be so delicious and so filling. There was a lot of prep required so definitely not a casual weekday dinner, but is definitely something we will continue to make for special dinners as a summer treat!

  7. This is NOT a niçoise salad, it’s anything but. It’s probably a very tasty one, but it’s not niçoise. I actually am from Nice and this is offensive. You should change the name of your recipe.

    1. Hi Camille! Thank you for this and I would love to hear why. But most of my recipes I change to make them my own, I hope you understand! xTieghan

  8. All we can say is YUM and thank you.
    cooked the eggs and steamed little potatoes in the morning. made the dressing and the potatoes soaked all the goodness all day, as I was off for my 200 mile RT Groc shopping trip, Remind me NOT to do that two days before the 4th. lol. But I won 170.83 on a Lottery draw for a $6.00 ticker. 🙂 so all was good.
    Steamed a
    the asparagus Chilled while assembling. Gus does not like Avocados so used Avocado oil in the dressing. I had roasted corn kernels in the freezer..and for got the olives so used a combo of green and ripe. I wish i could share the photo..Not as grand as yours my dear..but made individual plates, anyway.
    I Hope you have new visitors to your page as i bragged how wonderful it is and you !
    Thanks again.

    1. Wow you are too sweet! I am so glad you have been enjoying my recipes and blog and that is all I could ever ask for! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hey Mindy! How about a replacing the mustard with balsamic vinegar + 2 teaspoons of honey? That will be so good! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe and happy 4th of July! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    What a lovely recipe! I didn’t follow it exactly, but it felt like it gave me permission to get creative with a nicoise! I used my farmers market haul and did my own take, including using paste instead of whole anchovies. It was SO good! Thank you for your endless inspiration!

  10. 5 stars
    We make 2 new recipes a week and 99% of the time they are from your website (and that isn’t including the cook book recipes we make and the ones we saved in our archive because we loved them!). Super pumped to eat this all summer, thank you for the beautiful pictures and delicious recipes!

  11. I’m afraid I just can’t eat olives. My husband can and does. Is there anything else I could add to my salad in place of olives?? The salad looks beautiful and I think plating two plates would allow me to serve olives to my husband and add something different to my plate. What do you suggest? Thanks! Have a wonderful vacation!

    1. Hey Kathryn! What about replacing the olives with a salty nut? Maybe roasted marcona almonds or toasted pistachios? I think that would be delish! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  12. I’m wanting to make this for dinner tonight, is it two anchovy fillets or two cans?

    Thank you
    Cheers Charlene

  13. 1 star
    French night in the neighborhood, neighbor asked me to borrow anchovies (her contribution, a salad), showed me your recipe, told her no way in cooking would you ever use 2 cans of anchovies in nicoise dressing, unless you were making a batch for 100 people. She came back over 30 minutes later and asked me to taste it, she said it did not taste like mine. Now looking at your recipe I see you changed it to 2 fillets and not 2 cans. I would advise you to proofread before you publish especially with ingredients.

    1. Hi Henry! Yes, I will definitely try harder to make sure all of the ingredients are accurate! I am so sorry about that! Thank you! xTieghan

  14. Is that right, 2 CANS of anchovies in oil, that is 4 ounces? I make this same dressing cooking the anchovies and only ever use 2 some times 4 anchovy fillets? Can’t possibly imagine using 4 ounces. Nice photos by the way,

    1. Hi Sue! I am so sorry, that was a typo and I have fixed the recipe. You only need 2 anchovy fillets. So sorry for any confusion! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  15. I laugh so hard at people who say they hate, or are scared of anchovies, or even better – say they can taste them – and then use worcestershire sauce in their cooking and/or love Bloody Marys. Anchovy is a key component in worcestershire sauce. I about died at the look on my best friend’s face, when I told her ??? Glad you’ve seen the light ? This looks positively scrumptious!

  16. I wanted to use anchovy paste instead of the full anchovies since that’s normally what I keep in my pantry. How much anchovy paste should I use?

    1. HI! I would use 1-2 teaspoons of paste. That will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  17. This salad looks so fresh and delicious! I think I’m going to make a vegetarian version of it this weekend, without tuna and with capers instead of anchovies in the dressing 🙂

    1. HI! I am sure that will be great! I would use 1-2 teaspoons of paste. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  18. Oh, wow, officially this salad represents what early summer is all about! So pretty and so filling. It’s funny that you said that a lot of people are going to France this year.. we just came back and all nostalgic, so this salad is a must-have! I especially love the addition of asparagus– we went to a lot of farmer’s markets over there and it seems everywhere they had the fattest, juciest asparagus that i kept staring at ( we could not take it home with us because we stayed in hotels). A must-make!

    1. Wow yes I hope you love this salad, Nikki! How was your trip? I hope it was all you expected and more!! Thank you so much! xTieghan