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Featured Recipe: Salade Nicoise

Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

This is a quick summer salad, that’s easy to make and always a success. Salade Nicoise is a favorite on the French Riviera.  Typical ingredients are tuna, green beans, olives and tomatoes.  You can add any other greens or leftover vegetables.  I chose these ingredients to give a variety of textures, colors, and flavors – crisp, pale green lettuce; ripe red tomatoes; soft, pink tuna; and dark, green beans.  Use this recipe as a base and create your own salad.

The salad is a breeze using a good quality bottled vinaigrette dressing.  I like to make my own dressing.  It takes only minutes and the saving in cost and extra flavor is worth the time. It will keep a week in the refrigerator.  I’ve given my vinaigrette dressing below.  Either way this easy dinner is a family pleaser.


Salade Nicoise

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (2 cups)

3/4 pound tuna steaks

Olive oil spray

1/4 cup reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

2 tablespoons diced red onion

3/4 pound or 2 cups drained small whole canned potatoes, cut in quarters

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups field greens or French-style washed, ready-to-eat salad

2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges

8 pitted black olives, cut in half

1/4 whole wheat baguette

Blanch green beans:  Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans.  As soon as the water comes back to a boil, drain and refresh in cold water. Or place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 1 minute.

Wash tuna and pat dry with paper towels.  Heat a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Spray with olive oil spray.  Add tuna and sear for 2 minutes on each side.  Salt and pepper the cooked side.  Cover with a lid and remove from heat.  Let sit 1 minute for rare, 2 minutes for medium rare.

Mix dressing with onion in a bowl.  Add the green beans and potatoes and toss well.   Add salt and pepper to taste. Place greens on a serving platter. Spoon potato and beans onto lettuce.  Arrange tomato wedges olives on platter. Slice tuna into strips and arrange on platter.  Pour remaining dressing over top of the tuna and tomatoes.  Serve with baguette.  Makes 2 servings.


Homemade Vinaigrette (optional)

This is the minimum amount I like to make.  Use 1/4 cup for this recipe. This dressing will add about 40 calories to the meal. The remaining amount will keep in the refrigerator.

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk vinegar and mustard together in a small bow until completely blended.  Add oil while continuing to whisk.   Mix well to a smooth consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 518 calories (14 percent from fat), 8.1 g fat (1.3 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 80 mg cholesterol, 50.6 g protein, 63.1 g carbohydrates, 12.4 g fiber, 754 mg sodium.

Shopping List

To buy: 1/2 pound fresh green beans, 3/4 pound tuna steaks, 1 can small whole potatoes, 1 bag washed, ready-to-eat salad, 2 medium tomatoes, 1 small container black pitted olives, 1 can olive oil spray and 1 whole wheat baguette.

Staples: Reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing, red onion, salt and black peppercorns.

If making homemade vinaigrette: canola oil, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard.






Helpful Hints

  • The green beans can be cooked in a microwave oven.  Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high 2 minutes.
  • Hard-cooked eggs, asparagus, anchovies and capers are other suggestions for the salad.
  • Good quality canned tuna can be used instead of fresh.


  • Blanch green beans.
  • Make tuna.
  • Assemble salad.