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Niçoise Salad with Haricots Verts and Yukon Gold Potatoes

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Serves 6 to 8

  • by from Big Buy Cooking

Tender green beans; tiny, buttery potatoes; and salty capers and olives are the highlights of this Niçoise salad. Try to use good-quality, oil-packed canned tuna to add another layer of flavor. Anchovies and hard-cooked eggs have been omitted to keep the dish light, but feel free to add them.

  • 2 lbs. baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (or large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. haricots verts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 3 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about 3 Tbs.)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can tuna (12 oz., preferably oil-packed), drained well and flaked 
  • 2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup pitted Niçoise or Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Set the potatoes in a large (6-quart) pot, cover them with cold water by a couple of inches, stir in 2 Tbs. salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the haricots verts and cook until they turn bright green and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and cool under running water.

In a blender or food processor, blend the vinegar with the mustard. With the machine still running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream so the mixture comes together into a thick emulsion. Add the shallot, 2 tsp. thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper, and purée until incorporated. Taste and season the dressing with more salt and pepper if needed. Add 1 or 2 Tbs. water if needed to thin the dressing to a pourable consistency. Transfer the potatoes and beans to a large mixing bowl and toss well with half the vinaigrette. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed and transfer to a large platter. In the same mixing bowl, toss the tuna with the capers and 2 or 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette, and set them over the potatoes in the center of the platter. Sprinkle the tomatoes and olives over the potatoes, around the perimeter of the tuna. Drizzle the salad with the remaining vinaigrette, sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp. thyme, and serve.

To plate individually, lightly toss the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and olives with half the vinaigrette and plate; top with the tuna, capers, and the remaining thyme; and serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Serving Suggestions

With a loaf of good French bread, the salad is meal in and of itself; ending with Blueberry-Cassis Fool makes it a meal to remember.

Photo: Maren Caruso



I have made this dish many times and it never fails to impress even the most gourmet of guests. So easy and light for the hot months which are seemingly never ending in Florida. Just add some hard boiled egg and make sure to use nicoise olives. I have had French guests who asked for the recipe since it is easier and lighter than the original. Tastes just as good the next day if there are leftovers.

the omission of anchovies and hard boiled egg changes this classic dish into a simple tuna salad...while I am a big fan of experimentation some classic dishes just can't be fooled with..at least not omitting principle ingredients..if you want something different don't call it nicoise !!

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