This is a very pretty summery salad originating from the French city of Nice. It is full of textures and delicious flavours including tuna (canned or fresh is fine), potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchovies (optional!) and a vinaigrette dressing (I used shop-bought to keep it simple). It only takes 20 minutes to make, is light yet filling and the cooking can be done in one pan to save on washing up! My kids had a simplified version of it, using just the tuna, potatoes, eggs, green beans and a little of the dressing.
Salad Nicoise is also a great salad if you want a low-calorie or gluten-free meal. If anchovies frighten you, I urge you to try them in this salad. Chopped small they add a lovely, salty flavour and are not overwhelmingly fishy! As a side note, they are also great for adding richness to tomato sauces and cheese sauces, and they dissolve completely once hot. This dish comes to about £4 in total.
Salad nicoise (serves two hungry people or four as a side dish)
4 new potatoes, quartered
Large handful green beans, trimmed if necessary
5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
Small can tuna
1 little gem lettuce, roughly chopped
8 pitted black olives, torn in half
Optional – 4 tinned anchovies, chopped small (add lovely salty flavour)
Good shake of vinaigrette dressing (available in supermarkets)
Optional – a few torn basil leaves
Put the potatoes in a pan of boiling water along with the eggs (still in their shells). Once the potatoes are nearly tender (after about 8 mins or so) add the green beans. Cook for a further 3 mins then take off the heat and drain. Take the shells off the eggs and cut each egg in to six.
Put the gem lettuce in to a salad bowl, then top with the potatoes, eggs, green beans, tomatoes, tuna, olives and anchovies (if using). Shake over a generous amount of the vinaigrette. Scatter over the basil, if using. Take to the table and tuck in! Add more vinaigrette at the table if necessary.