Basic Professional French Cooking

Salade Niçoise

    The Salade Niçoise is an example of a ‘ salade composée’. Traditionally a salade composée comes out of the kitchen with each of the components arranged separately on a plate of platter. It can then be served this way to the customer of tossed table side by the maitire d’ or waiter.

    The term Niçoise refers to a dish from the city of Nice which is situated on the Mediterranean in the French Riviera. Although Nice (pronounced Neece) is part of Provence, it has a regional cuisine of its own. Components which are typical of Nice and enter the Salade Niçoise are anchovies, tuna, tomatoes, and olives. A Salade Niçoise should always be dressed with a vinaigrette prepared with olive oil, preferably Extra Virgin.

    Traditionally tuna preserved in brine is used. Some restaurants have taken to using fresh grilled tuna in this salad. This is not the classic, but it is lovely in its own way.

Ingredients (for 8 servings)

600 g Waxy Potatoes (21 oz)

400 g String Beans (the thinner the better) (21 oz), a l’anglaise

4 medium Tomatoes

200 g Green Bell Peppers (7 oz)

200 g canned Tuna (7 oz)

1/2 head Boston or Red Leaf Lettuce to line the bottom of the bowl

40 small Black Olives, preferably Niçoise variety

4 Eggs, Hard boiled

5 g Parsley or Chervil, chopped (optional) (.3 oz)

8 Anchovies

For the Vinaigrette::

80 ml Wine Vinegar (3 fl oz)

200 ml Olive Oil (7 fl oz)

Salt and Pepper

2 cloves Garlic, peeled and crushed


  1. -Make sure the work station is set up properly.

  2. -Cook the potatoes, leaving the skins on and starting in cold water.

  3. -Emonder the tomatoes. Cut them into four or six wedges, depending on size. Remove the excess seeds. Salt the wedges and place in a colander to drain. This is especially helpful to concentrate their flavor when they are out of season.

  4. -Break the ends off the string beans. If the beans are thick, they should be sliced in half or in quarters lengthwise (this is known as frenching). Cut them into two inch lengths and cook l’anglaise, Make sure they are cooked all the way through before refreshing them in ice water. Drain.

  5. -Prepare the hard cooked eggs by starting them in cold water. Make sure that they are just covered with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Do not overcook the eggs or they will develop a black rim between the yolk and the white. Refresh them in a bowl of cold water. When cool, peel and keep in cold water until needed.

  6. -Carefully wash the lettuce leaves in a sink full of cold water. Rinse at least twice. If there is still any sand or grit in the sink after the second washing, rinse a third time. Dry them on clean towels or in a lettuce spinner.

  7. -Peel the green peppers with a vegetable peeler, Cut them in half from the top to bottom and remove the center core and seeds. Cut the peppers into thin lengthwise strips, about 1/16 inch thick by two inches long.

  8. -Check the potatoes. They are done when easily penetrated by a knife, usually about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook or they will crack and the pulp will start to push through the cracks. Place in a colander to cool partially, and peel with a vegetable peeler while still warm. Do not refresh in cold water.

  9. -Slice the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick and coat them with the vinaigrette while still warm.

  10. -Pit the olives,

  11. -Chop the parsley or chervil.

  12. -The anchovies can be soaked for about 5 minutes in cold water if they contain excess salt or oil. Drain with towels.

  13. -Drain the tuna in a colander.

Preparing the Vinaigrette

  1. -Combine the wine vinegar, seasoning and garlic and let sit for 10 minutes.

  2. -Slowly add the olive oil while beating gently (if virgin olive oil is beaten too hard it tends to become bitter).

  3. -Adjust the seasoning.

To Order

  1. -Each of the components is a Salade Niçoise should be dressed separately. Start with the tomatoes, string beans, and strips of pepper.

  2. -Toss the lettuce leaves in a little vinaigrette and use them to line the bottom of a bowl. Place tuna in the center and arrange the other components around it, keeping each separate.

  3. -Decorate the top of the tuna with the anchovy filets, drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with chopped herbs.

  4. -Sprinkle chopped olives around the salad and server right away.

On since 2016