West Coast Niçoise Salad


Niçoise salad is one of the most enjoyable French salads out there. Made with lots of fresh tasty ingredients, this is perfect for spring and summer. I have switched up the traditional recipe by swapping out tuna for some local sockeye salmon. Trust me, this Canadianized version tastes just as great as the original!


Servings: 4

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time:  20 minutes   |   Cook Time: 20 minutes   |   Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 side fillet of salmon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 4 eggs, hardboiled
  • 2 cups baby potatoes or fingerling potatoes
  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 3 cups mixed lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Nicoise olives (or substitute with Kalamata olives)

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon anchovies (pureed or from the jar) (optional, but recommended!)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the salmon fillet on a baking sheet lined with tin foil, skin side down. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the salmon and squeeze the lemon juice over as well.Wrap up the salmon tightly in the foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or more, depending on the thickness of the salmon. When it is fully cooked, you are looking for the flesh to turn an opaque pink throughout the fillet and for it to flake easily. Unwrap the cooked salmon and set it aside to cool while prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Bring a medium sized pot to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size, just until they are fork tender. Scoop out the potatoes from the pot (keeping the water) and drain in a colander.

Next, we will blanch the beans. Add the trimmed green beans to the leftover boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the green colour has become very bright and the bean has cooked slightly. Drain the beans in the colander with the potatoes. Cool down the green beans and potatoes by running cold water over them for a few minutes. This not only cools down the ingredients so that you can assemble the salad, but it also sets that pretty green colour of the beans and prevents it from cooking any further. Once cooled, slice the potatoes in half, or quarters depending on the size and set aside.

To cook the eggs, add some cold water to a pot along with the eggs. The eggs should be completely submerged in the water. Place the pot on the stove, uncovered, and bring the contents to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let the eggs stand for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain the water, peel the eggs, and slice into halves or wedges. Set aside.

Now for the dressing. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, anchovies and black pepper. Mix to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Once all incorporated, taste the dressing to see if it need any extra seasonings like salt or pepper. Once you have the dressing to your liking, set aside.

Next, let’s assemble the salad! Lay the lettuce leaves down on a platter as the base for your salad. Then top the salad with the beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggs, olives, potatoes and salmon in whatever arrangement you like. I like to group the ingredients together so that people can take a bit of each from the arrangement. Finally, drizzle the dressing over the whole salad and serve!

Enjoy this salad cold or at room temperature.