Monday, April 11, 2011

Salade composée à la niçoise

Ahhh...April in Paris. A stroll along the Seine. A chocolat chaud and people watching from an outdoor table at a Parisian café.

Sadly, an ocean separates me from Paris. However, with some of my CSA goodies, I can at least enjoy a taste of la belle vie. As soon as I saw the lettuce, Yukon Golds, and green beans in my weekly box, I knew that I'd make a variant of the classic Niçoise Salad. My variation uses roasted potatoes, beets, and turnips along with lettuce, green beans, olives, hard-boiled egg, and tuna. I'd used up my allotment of tomatoes otherwise they would have been added to the salad. Délicieuse.

In The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child describes a salade composée as "a handsomely arranged combination salad." For her, the salad could "be the solution for what to serve at an informal spur-of-the-moment meal. The trick is to toss all of the elements separately in vinaigrette, letting some marinate for 10 to 20 minutes if they need to take on flavor. Then when you arrange your work of art, each part of it is perfectly seasoned." I took some liberties with this, drizzling my work of art with vinaigrette instead of marinating each ingredient for 10 to 20 minutes. After all, it was a school night.

Salade composée à la niçoise
1 small head of greenleaf lettuce
2 cans of tuna in olive oil
5 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), cut into wedges
2 beets, cubed coarsely
1 turnip, cubed coarsely
1/2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
6 hard-boiled eggs
cup of marinated olives, pitted
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Will's vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
two pinches dried basil
one pinch dried oregano
freshly ground pepper to taste

Pour ingredients in a small, lidded jar. Shake well to combine.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place potatoes, beets, and turnip in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes. Stir a few times during roasting.

Steam or boil green beans until barely crisp, about 5-6 minutes. Slice hard-boiled eggs, thinly. Wash, dry, and shred lettuce leaves.

Place a few handfuls of lettuce on a plate. Top with tuna, green beans, roasted root vegetables, eggs, and olives. Drizzle lightly with vinaigrette. Serve with baguette.


  1. WOW!! Really nice recipes i like it and i want eat this meals.
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  2. Mmm this sounds so yummy- especially since I love hard boiled eggs! Had to come and stop by since I saw "beantown" and knew you had to be in Boston. What a transition from Texas to Boston! I adore the city- my Dad grew up in Newton and I loved visiting all my relatives in and around Boston. From your sidebar- looks like you got the lingo down- have a wicked good day yourself ;)

  3. I'm still on the learning curve re. the lingo. Just learned how to pronounce "Billerica" properly last weekend! Thanks for stopping by!


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