Salade Niçoise with divine Dijon dressing
One of the first recipes we ever posted on our site was Salade Niçoise. It’s the most colorful and eye-catching salad we know of — and it also happens to taste incredibly good, and be incredibly good for you! Over the years we’ve received a lot of feedback about this salad, and it certainly seems like many of you enjoy it just as much as we do.
So why are we changing the recipe? As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Actually, the basic salad ingredients stay much the same, except for changing the type of lettuce we use (which I’ll talk about in a moment.) But the main difference is the dressing. We had a revelation the other day which has turned our original dressing — which was already very tasty — into what I can only describe as divine.
Our revelation was actually very simple. Traditionally, one of the ingredients of Salade Niçoise is anchovy fillets. These salty morsels certainly add a unique depth-of-flavor to the salad. But if you have a mouthful of salad with too much anchovy, it can be a bit overwhelming on the palate. So when we were making up a batch last week, we decided to try an experiment. Instead of using whole fillets of anchovy in the salad, we thought we’d mash them and add them to the dressing (the same way that mashed anchovies are typically added to a Caesar salad dressing).
As soon as we tasted the dressing made this way we were blown away! The anchovies added a wonderful richness (without in any way being overpowering), and they even improved the texture and mouth feel of the dressing.
The other change we made to our original recipe was to use romaine (cos) lettuce, instead of the soft-textured butter lettuce we usually use. We thought the crunch and flavor of the romaine would work particularly well with this new dressing — and I’m pleased to report that it certainly did.
We hope you enjoy this new and improved version of our Salade Niçoise as much as we did.
20 green beans, ends trimmed and halved
4 anchovy fillets
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, hard-boiled, peeled and quartered
10 romaine (cos) lettuce leaves, washed and dried
14 oz (400g) canned tuna in olive oil, drained and broken into chunks
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
¼ red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
16 black olives (Niçoise are ideal)
Variation: For a more opulent version, you can poach or grill fresh fillets of salmon or tuna, allow to cool, and cut into cubes to replace the canned tuna.