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Salade Nicoise

Salade Nicoise

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Makes 4 generous portions



  • 1 ½ lbs. Yukon gold, fingerling or New potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes.
  • ½ lb. fresh green beans, trimmed (or same quantity of fresh asparagus)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 raw red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips (julienned) or a small dice (brunoised).
  • 1 lb. fresh salmon fillets (I was out of tuna)
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 head of Boston, Bibb or Romaine lettuce, washed and well-dried.
  • anchovies and olives (optional)


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (you can also use regular balsamic vinegar – it just gives the dressing a dark color)
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • 2 cups of fresh parsley
  • 4 green onions or chives – use just the green part (you can also use shallots or red onions)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely crushed with salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or sugar (add according to taste)
  • Salt and pepper

Put vinaigrette ingredients in 4 cup jug and use an immersion blender to chop the herbs and make the vinaigrette thick and creamy. You can also chop the herbs by hand and then whisk together with the oil and vinegar. This can also be made without herbs if you don’t have them available.


1. Put potatoes and eggs in pan, cover with water, add salt and cook until just tender.

2. Take eggs out after about 6 minutes of cooking. Immediately plunge eggs into very cold water, which will help prevent the black ring from forming around the yolk. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters just before serving.

3. Drain cooked potatoes, and pour about ¼ cup vinaigrette over potatoes while warm and leave to cool down before refrigerating.

4. Put fresh salmon in small skillet, cover with water and slowly bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and leave to cool down in the water. Drain and refrigerate before use.

5. Cook green beans/asparagus until degree of tenderness you prefer. Drain and immediately plunge into very cold water to stop them cooking and retain bright green color.

6. To finish: Traditionally, the ingredients are arranged on a platter in segments, not mixed together. So, take a platter and cover the base with lettuce drizzled with vinaigrette. Then arrange potatoes, green beans, olives, hard boiled eggs, red peppers, tomatoes, anchovies and salmon like the segments of a wheel around the platter. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and serve.

Tips & Alternatives: I like making this with tuna canned in oil, and using that drained oil as the oil in the dressing. Simply drain the oil into a measuring cup, then use bottled olive oil to top it off to ½ cup.

To add more flavor to the fish, add wine, lemon rind, and parsley to the water before cooking. You can also grill the fish, potatoes and vegetables to avoid heating up the kitchen.

This is a great meal to plan in advance after a day at the beach or when friends or family are expected. If you cook the potatoes, green beans, fish and eggs in advance and make the vinaigrette, then the meal can be on the table within about 10 minutes of walking in the door.

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