Nicoise salad is said to be originated from a city called Nice in France. Nicoise salad includes tuna, egg, olives, tomatoes, lemon juice, mustard etc. and there are different ways to prepare nicoise salad. Americans serve nicoise sald with lettuce and cooked potatoes and green beans.
However, the traditional nicoise salads are made with raw vegetables and are always served with anchovies. The most popular version of nicoise salad is made with freshly grilled or canned tuna. If you want to make a low carb nicoise salad then avoid the potatoes, else dress up a combination of green beans, potatoes, tuna, egg, tomatoes, mustard etc. with light anchovy vinaigrette.
Preparation time- one hour
Salad making- 25 minutes
Total time- one hour 25 minutes
Ingredients for Vinaigrette
Lemon juice- half cup
Extra-virgin olive oil– ¾ cup
Minced shallot- one medium sized
Freshly minced thyme leaves- one tablespoon
Freshly minced basil leaves– two teaspoons
Dijon mustard- one teaspoon
Freshly grounded black pepper- to taste
Salt- to taste
Ingredients for Salad
Grilled or cooked tune- eight ounce or canned tuna– two to three cans
Hard boiled, peeled and halved or quartered eggs- six
Scrubbed and quartered small red potatoes- ten
Powdered black pepper- to taste
Salt –to taste
Butter lettuce or boston lettuce– two medium heads
Ripe tomatoes- three
Thinly sliced red onion- one
Green beans- eight ounce
Nicoise olives- quarter cup
Capers or several anchovies- two tablespoon, these are optional
Wash and dry the lettuce leaves and cut them in to bite sized pieces. Clean the tomatoes and cut each of them in to eight pieces. Also marinate the tuna with a little olive oil and keep it for an hour. Thereafter cook the tuna in hot grill for two to three minutes or till both the sides are properly cooked.
In between boil the potatoes in four quarts of water, add one teaspoon salt to the boiling water and cook the potatoes till they become tender. Drain the water and keep aside and transfer the potatoes to a medium sized bowl. Trim the ends of the green beans and half each bean crosswise.
Use the water drained after boiling potatoes to boil the green beans with little salt. When the beans become tender, but still crisp, drain the beans and keep aside. Get a large bowl and add oil, thyme, lemon juice, shallot, basil, oregano, mustard, salt and powdered black pepper, whisk them well. The vinaigrette is now ready to use.
Combine quarter cup of vinaigrette with the boiled potatoes and toss them well. Also use a quarter cup of vinaigrette to toss the lettuce in another bowl and then spread the lettuce on the serving platter. Thereafter cut the cooked tuna in to half inch thick slices and toss the slices with a quarter cup of vinaigrette. Place the tossed tuna at the center of the serving platter, on top of the lettuce.
In a small bowl mix the tomatoes and onion slices with three tablespoon vinaigrette, black pepper and salt and arrange this mixture on top of the lettuce bed. Also arrange the tossed potatoes along the edges on the lettuce bed.
Toss the cooked beans with three tablespoon vinaigrette, black pepper and salt and arrange them on the server plate on top of the lettuce bed. Now layer the hard boiled eggs, olives and anchovies on top of the lettuce bed. Spray the remaining vinaigrette over the salad and the eggs. You can use all your creativity to arrange your salad. If you are using capers, then sprinkle them over the entire salad and serve.