How To Make The Classic Dish Correctly



Salade niçoise. How we all love this blend of potatoes, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, tuna, and…wait, stop! Do not ever tell any self-respecting inhabitant of Nice, France, that you like salade Niçoise with potatoes, green beans, or even lettuce. This will make you an outcast, a poor, sad excuse for a human being.

Why? Because a true salade Niçoise is a blend of seasonal vegetables that every Niçoise had at hand long, long ago. That selection did not include potatoes and green beans. Those ingredients were added by Auguste Escoffier, who came from the other side of Provence, where these vegetables were introduced sometime after the 17th century. Even tomatoes are a relatively recent addition, but, perhaps with some reluctance, the Niçoise find them acceptable. 

There are a few other “rules” for salade Niçoise. A true salade Niçoise doesn’t have any cooked ingredients but the eggs—it is the assemblage of fresh ingredients dressed only with olive oil, salt, and pepper. In addition, the olives must have their pits, and while anchovies are traditional, canned tuna is acceptable even to a purist. But the two are never added to the same salad—two fish would simply be too much.

Try this version of salade Niçoise and you’ll forever want to save your green beans and potatoes for some other dish. This makes a meal, along with bread and a chilled rosé from Cassis.

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