No I haven’t gone all haute-cuisine on you…at the heart of this amazing dish is a pretty simple salad that just happens to have a fancy French name.
I don’t think there’s one official way to make a Niçoise salad, I’ve enjoyed many different takes on it over the years. What seems to be pretty standard though are the olives, tuna, anchovies, potatoes, green beans, boiled eggs and then a vinaigrette of some kind.
So this particular version (which is Whole30 by the way) breaks with tradition a little bit. I just happened to have some excellent halibut on hand thanks to my friends at Sizzlefish, so those gorgeous filets replaced the tuna. And I just wasn’t feeling the anchovies for this recipe so they stayed in the tin. But by all means feel free to use a good quality canned tuna packed in a healthy oil for your salad, and toss in cured anchovy filets (diced) if you like. (Whole30 participants: be sure and check the labels for program compliance.)
What’s not an option for this particular dish is the lemon-dill vinaigrette. I think you’re going to be surprised how well it goes with everything on your plate…yes even the potatoes! It’s a big splash of tarty brightness that really livens things up and ties the whole salad together beautifully. And as you’ll see, the vinaigrette is really easy to make. Whisk some common ingredients together and you’re done.
Everything else is pretty much what you’d expect. I grilled both the halibut and the sweet potato rounds to keep things simple. To get that softer yolk for the eggs, I boiled them for about 6 minutes and put them in an ice bath. Same deal for the green beans: boiled 5 minutes then dunked in ice water.
Oh and don’t worry about making this one look too fussy on your plates. I just arranged mine this way for a cool photo. What’s really important is how it tastes…so I’d encourage you to go ahead and toss everything together (except the soft-boiled eggs) with the vinaigrette to get the maximize flavor impact of this salad.
Hope you enjoy, and your comments are always welcomed and much appreciated!
- 2 eggs
- 2 halibut filets (may be substituted with canned tuna and/or anchovies)
- 1 white-fleshed sweet potato, sliced into rounds
- 4 scallions
- 4 cups greens (your choice)
- 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh green beans
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill
- Salt & pepper to taste
- First prepare the vinaigrette -- vigorously whisk everything together in a small bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
- Cook eggs to desired doneness - 6 minutes for soft yolks as pictured.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Slice sweet potato into about 1/4-inch thick rounds and steam or microwave for a few minutes to soften, then drizzle with olive oil.
- Season halibut generously with a little salt and pepper, or a lemon pepper seasoning if your prefer. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Cook both the potato rounds and halibut on the grill. About 4 minutes per side for the halibut, or until fish flakes easy. Avoid overcooking. Grill the potatoes until tender and grill marks appear, about 4-5 minutes per side. Lightly char scallions if desired.
- While fish is cooking, boil green beans about 4-5 minutes until bright green and slightly tender, then plunge into ice bath.
- Slice the tomatoes and plate the greens. Lightly toss the potatoes, tomatoes, and green beans in some of the prepared vinaigrette and add to the salad along with the halibut, eggs, olives and scallions.