Nicoise Salad with Spring Roasted Vegetables
Niçoise Salad with Tuna, Sardines, and Roasted Spring Vegetables
Niçoise Salad, pronounced: [niˈswaz] is a French Salad from the French Mediterranean city, Nice. Traditionally, it is made up of hardboiled eggs, Niçoise olives, sardines and tomatoes but people use whatever they’ve got in their fridge waiting to be finished up! This salad is perfect for using up leftovers but when I’ve got company for brunch, a lunch date or I’m craving something light and refreshing yet satisfying, I whip up this salad and it never disappoints. Traditionally, uncooked vegetables are common law of what’s allowed in the Niçoise salad. However, I like to break rules and for this one, I’m definitely breaking them.
Traditional Nicoise Salads require blanching your hearty veggies, like grean beans, and boiling your potatoes. I changed up a few things to turn this salad into a flavorful burst of roasted spring vegetables and added sardines for just a little something extra. Roasting the vegetables gave me a chance to prep my other ingredients while the veggies were in the oven. So, toss conventional wisdom out and roast some of those veggies!
Also, feel free to break your own rules and add other ingredients you like such as: marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, green beans, and/or other ingredients you have on hand.
SCROLL DOWN FOR A VIDEO OF THIS PREP AND PRESENTATION!
The quality of the tuna is very important. I used Wild Planet brand for this recipe but I also love to use this kind as well. Quality matters in this salad because you can clearly taste all the ingredients and Tuna is the main star!
I also decided to add sardines for an extra, meaty and briny addition. My absolute favorite brand of sardines, Ortiz, can be purchased here. They are meaty, never “fishy” smelling and taste super clean and light.
And, because I happen to be one of those “no cheese with fish almost NEVER” people, I would skip adding any kind of cheese to this recipe. It’s not even needed. You’ll be completely happy with how this salad tastes without the need to add cheese. I promise.
BEFORE getting started, here are tips to help you work smarter, not harder:
BOIL YOUR EGGS FIRST - Set eggs in a small/medium sauce pot with cold water and turn heat to high. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off the stove, cover with a lid and let them cook in the water for 9 minutes. Remove them and plunge into an ice bath
ROAST VEGETABLES NEXT - Roast the potatoes first, roasting half way, then adding the rest of the roasting vegetables
PREP EVERYTHING ELSE WHILE VEGGIES ARE ROASTING - Make the dressing, cut all the raw veggies, rinse the beans, season the tuna/sardines
Time: 30 Min
1 5-6 oz jar/can quality Tuna - Tonnino Brand or similar, drained
1 6.7 oz jar quality sardines such as Ortiz Brand or similar - drained
1 15oz Can Cannellini Beans -drained and rinsed
3-4 hardboiled eggs
1 bunch asaparagus - ends trimmed
1 bunch radishes - such as “French Breakfast” Radishes
3/4 C Nicoise or mediterranean mix olives
1 English Cucumber - seeded and sliced into spears
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes - halved
2 C boiler potatoes
1/2 Red onion - sliced thin (diced/thinly sliced shallots would also taste great in this salad!)
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried chives (optional)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Juice of half a lemon
3-4 small bunches Dill
2 Tbs sliced Green onions
6 Lemon wedges
6 Tbs Champagne Vinegar
3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp pure honey
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbs green onion
In a medium Saucepan on high heat, set 4 eggs in cold water. Once water reaches a boil, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let them steam for 9 minutes. Plunge into an icebath and let cool. Peel and set aside.
Rinse and dry potatoes. In a large bowl, drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. On a large baking sheet, lined with Silpat or parchment paper, add potatoes and roast at 425F for 15-20 min. While potatoes are baking, add radishes to the bowl, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Add asparagus to the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once potatoes are halfway cooked, remove from the oven and add radishes and asparagus. Roast for another 10-15 min or when veggies are “tender-crisp.”
While vegetables are roasting, make your dressing. Add olive oil, vinegar, honey and dijon to the bowl and whisk until combined. Add lemon juice and whisk until emulsified/blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add green onion, stir to combine, cover and set in fridge.
Place tuna and sardines on a plate and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
Prep and slice all the cold veggies: cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and garnishes. Slice eggs into wedges.
On a large serving platter or a shallow serving bowl, arrange cold veggies in groups. Add roasted vegetables in groups. Add the cannellini beans to one side of the bowl. Divide eggs and place on each half of the platter. Divide lemon wedges and place on each half of the platter. Add tuna and sardines to the middle of the platter and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with dill, green onions, pepperoncini, coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Serve with the dressing on the side.