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Salad Nicoise Deconstructed

I love a great Salad Nicoise. Hard to beat the combo of starchy potatoes, meaty tuna, crunchy green beans, salty olives, fresh cucumbers and hard boiled eggs, slathered in a tangy mustard dressing. While you often find Nicoise made with seared fresh tuna this recipe is more traditionally French and made with a good quality tuna packed in olive oil. See below for the brand I used.

Best part about this salad is that you only have to cook two things, the green beans and the potatoes. I bought cooked beets, white beans and hardboiled eggs at Whole Foods. The rest is chopping vegetables and making a dressing.

Important note. I photographed the salad with tomatoes, but I would omit them. I find tomatoes bring out the fishiness in canned tuna. It’s the same reason I never put them on my tuna sandwich. Yuck.


For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • 2 T fresh lemon juice

  • 1 T Dijon mustard

  • 1 shallot, minced (2 heaping tablespoons)

  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning

  • couple pinches of sugar

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (start with ¼ tsp salt and add more to taste)

For the salad:

  • 1 lb. extra small new potatoes or baby Yukon golds - oven roasted

  • 4 to 6 oz. store bought cooked beets

  • 8 oz. haricot verts, blanched

  • ½ cup pitted black Niçoise olives

  • 8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved lengthwise

  • 2 (6-oz.) jars high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained

  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup cooked large white beans – bought them at Whole Foods.

  • ½ cup loosely packed basil leaves, to garnish optional

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions, to garnish optional


  • Make the dressing: Mince garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle heavily with salt; using a knife, scrape garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste. Transfer paste to a bowl and whisk in oil, juice, mustard, shallot, Italian seasoning, two healthy pinches of sugar, salt and pepper; set aside. Don’t be afraid to use salt!

  • Green beans - Fill a pot with water, add 2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Add haricot verts and boil for 2 minutes. Strain, add to ice water to stop the cooking.

  • Potatoes – Preheat oven to 425. Cut potatoes in half, place in roasting pan, toss with salt, pepper, 1.5 T olive oil, pinch of garlic powder, ½ tsp oregano. Roast for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

  • Make the salad: Arrange all ingredients in separate rows on a large serving platter; drizzle dressing over all ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with basil and scallions just before serving.

Note* - If you’d like you can add some mixed greens to the salad.

Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4–6

HEARTFUL RECIPE – One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts.


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