Classic Niçoise Salad With Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Jammy Eggs
This recipe takes its inspiration from the classic Niçoise salad and makes it a little more indulgent, with the non-traditional inclusion of crispy smashed potatoes and jammy eggs. The result is a main course salad that is fresh, filling, and overflowing with summer favorites from the garden.
LOW CARB ✓ KETO ✓ GLUTEN-FREE ✓
Table Of Contents
A classic Niçoise salad is a favorite for its simple ingredients and ease of preparation. It comes together quickly for a simple starter or as a main course salad to serve at summer gatherings. The ingredients are perfection together, but just what these ingredients should be is the source of much controversy…
What are the ingredients of a Niçoise salad? This salad hails from the city of Nice, in the south of France. Originally created to reflect the bounties of the Mediterranean summer, the first mentions of this salad were in the late 19th century. The traditional compilation included tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchovies and/or tuna, Niçoise olives, and olive oil. It is a wonderful mix of ingredients, including those that are preserved, and those that are fresh from the garden.
Over the years, additional ingredients have been added to versions of the original, namely, green beans and potatoes. Traditionalists stand by using only fresh, raw vegetables, feeling that cooked beans and potatoes are a sacrilege.
That being said, the current, widely popular version known today, was first ascribed to Auguste Escoffier, the chef who documented much of French cuisine and recipes. He included cooked green beans and potatoes in what he believed to be the correct version of the salad.
The flavor profile of the Niçoise salad is perfection, which, makes it an ideal concept to iterate on. There have been endless variations to the salad, causing the traditionalists much irritation, which I can appreciate. But, as someone who has specific dietary needs, this salad is a perfect template from which to compose an exceptional summer salad with endless substitutions to meet everyone’s needs.
With this version, I also diverged from the traditional and added not only blanched green beans, but Crispy Smashed Potatoes instead of boiled potatoes, Jammy Eggs instead of hard boiled eggs, and Quick Pickled Red Onions, because they are my favorite.
The Ingredients For A Classic Niçoise Salad
The Original Ingredients:
Fresh Tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes from the garden taste like none other. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene.
Tinned Tuna In Olive Oil and/or Anchovies – Like the traditionalists, I stand behind only using tinned tuna in olive oil. Tonnino is one of my favorite brands. This high-quality protein provides omega-3 fatty acids and beneficial monounsaturated fats, which support heart health, brain function, and inflammation reduction.
Niçoise Olives – This olive, which is grown and cured around Nice on the Mediterranean coast, is brine-cured with the addition of salt and herbs. Olives are rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds that reduce inflammation and promote cardiovascular and bone health.
Eggs – A classic Niçoise salad is usually served with hard boiled eggs, but I added these indulgent Jammy Eggs instead.
Fresh Herbs – Traditionally, fresh basil is included. I added some fresh thyme to this version.
Later (And More Controversial) Ingredients:
Green Beans – Now thought of as an integral ingredient in this salad, green beans are a good source of fiber, vitamins C and K, and folate, which can promote healthy digestion, boost the immune system, and support bone health. A 1 cup serving has 4 grams of net carbs.
Potatoes – These are also considered an essential ingredient. usually boiled. I added one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare potatoes – Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
Capers or Caper Berries – Did you know that a caper berry is the fruit of the caper bush, while a caper is the unopened bud? Caper berries are larger and milder than capers, and have more of a crunch. Capers are low in cholesterol and high in protein, fiber, Vitamins A and E, calcium, and iron, making them a superfood.
Salad Greens – Early versions of the salad did not include greens, but later versions added on fresh greens from the garden.
Roasted Red Peppers – Inspired by a local restaurant that adds these to their Salad Niçoise, I now add them to mine. Red peppers contain more than 200% of your daily Vitamin C intake.
Quick Pickled Red Onions – Once you start making these you will add them to everything.
How To Make A Niçoise Salad
This is a straightforward salad to make, which comes together quickly once the potatoes, eggs, and pickled onions are prepared. The good news is that all of these can be made in advance and stored until you are ready to eat, making it quick to put together at mealtime.
Start by pickling the onions, Here is the detailed recipe for the Quick Pickled Red Onions. These can be made hours or days in advance.
While the onions are pickling, prepare the potatoes, they take about an hour to make. Serve them hot and crispy out of the oven, or make them ahead and cool to room temperature to serve, if you prefer. Here is the detailed recipe for the Crispy Smashed Potatoes.
While the potatoes are in the oven, make the eggs. These can also be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. Here is the detailed recipe for the Jammy Eggs.
Next, make the Niçoise salad dressing and set aside.
With those elements out of the way, the rest is about preparing and plating the ingredients.
Wash and prepare the vegetables. Quickly blanche the green beans in boiling water until they have just turned darker green. Transfer them to an ice water bath to stop them from cooking and preserve that bright green color. Drain the tuna and roasted red peppers and start plating the salad. Add the ingredients to the plate or platter in sections highlighting each ingredient. See how I styled it below. Drizzle all with the dressing, and finish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How To Style This Salad
The first thing to consider when styling a salad, is the role the ingredients have in the final dish. Are there stand-alone ingredients that deserve to be given their own space, like with my Peach, Tomato & Burrata Salad – or do the ingredients need to be mixed together in order to blend the flavors and create a more uniform experience, like with my Avocado, Egg & Arugula Salad With Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette.
This Classic Niçoise Salad is best served in a composed style, meaning plated and arranged with purpose with the ingredients in dedicated sections.
Here are some suggested substitutions to make this salad a better fit for your palate, preferences, and diet. If you are looking for specific substitutions, let me know in the comments below!
- Fish Alternatives: Grilled Salmon, Anchovies, Seared Tuna
- Alternative Salad Greens: Fresh Lettuces, Arugula, Spinach, Microgreens
- Other Add-Ins: Fresh Basil, Fresh Parsley
- Make It Keto-Friendly: Increase the greens, eggs, and olives and omit the potatoes. Without potatoes it is about 9 grams of net carbs per serving.
- Make It Vegetarian: Omit the tuna and increase the eggs or add chickpeas or beans.
More Main Course Salad Recipes To Try
If you make this Classic Niçoise Salad be sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see!
RECIPE: Classic Niçoise Salad With Crispy Smashed Potatoes & Jammy Eggs
|2 Cups Fresh Lettuce Or Mixed Greens|
|8 Ounces Tinned Tuna In Olive Oil|
|1 Cup Niçoise Or Mixed Olives|
|1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes|
|1/3 Cup Capers Or Caper Berries|
|2 Cups Green Beans|
|1 Cup Roasted Red Peppers|
|2 Cups Crispy Smashed Potatoes|
|4 Jammy Eggs|
|1/2 Cup Quick Pickled Red Onions|
|2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil Or Thyme|
For The Dressing
|1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil|
|1/4 Cup Lemon Juice|
|1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard|
|1 Tsp. Honey|
|1 Small Garlic Clove, Minced|