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July 30, 2020

Salade Niçoise - the Perfect Summer Meal

Nice (it is pronounced: niece, as in "my niece and nephew"; and it rhymes with "Peace"), in the South of France on the French Riviera has long been a strategic port.  Nice has a colorful history, being settled around 350 BC by the Greeks who named the city Nikaia, after the goddess of victory Nike.  Throughout the centuries, the city fell back and forth into the hands of the Romans (who called it Nizza) and the French, who named it Nice.

The first time we traveled to the South of France and stopped in the beautiful city of Nice for lunch, we enjoyed a perfect summer salad, named after the city: Salade Niçoise.  It is a traditional salad that features fresh ingredients typical of the region.  It plays on Nice's Greek, Roman, and French roots and it incorporates its connection to the land and the sea.  

According to purists, a true Salad Niçoise uses only local seasonal raw ingredients from Nice and it's surroundings in its preparation!  As such the ingredients would includetuna or anchovies, but never both; tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, black olives, and spring onions, and cucumbers.

However, there seem to be quite a number of variations to this delicious salad.  And just because you do not have access to local produce from the French Riviera, does not mean you can't prepare a Salade Niçoise.

Salade Niçoise is one of our go-to summer meals and below is my version, which, admittedly deviates from the original recipe.  To me, it is perfect as a lunch or dinner meal.

Salade Niçoise Recipe


Romaine lettuce, washed and torn

2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 tomato, sliced or cut in wedges

green beans, blanched and chilled

1 potato, cooked, peeled & chilled, then sliced or cut in wedges

olives, stuffed or plain

1 can tuna packed in water, drained

anchovy fillets, 2-3


Assemble your salad:  On a dinner plate, make a bed of torn lettuce, top with the drained tuna in the center and the egg quarters pointing out like rays of sunshine:

Follow that by placing the tomato slices next to the egg wedges:

Followed by the potato slices and green beans

Drape the anchovy fillets over the eggs


The final touch is to add the olives, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.

Serve with a vinaigrette made with olive oil and herbs.


Bon appetit!


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