The Great Nicoise Debate

There seems to be some debate over what comprises a Nicoise Salad (Salade Niçoise.)

Julia Child’s version touts tinned tuna, anchovies, blanched green beans and boiled potatoes.   David Lebovitz adds cooked fava beans (and mentions bell peppers), but advises using either anchovies or tuna (but never both in the same salad.)  A few other adventurous souls have taken liberties with seared tuna.  Traditionalists say no cooked vegetables whatsoever.  Some folks even add Feta or goat cheese, leftover from their Greek Salad… :)

Salad Niçoise’s origins are thought to begin with famed choreographer, Balanchine, who was married to world-renowned ballerina Maria Tallchief , who was originally from Oklahoma.  (You knew I’d get back to the lake somehow!)

Getting back to the salad… whether it’s assembled with cooked veggies or without, tinned tuna or seared, anchovies or not, or even the oddball addition of goat cheese or Feta, there’s no debate:  Salade Niçoise dances on your palate and your plate!

Niçoise Salad

Chunk light tuna (preferrably water-packed)

Lettuce leaves

Hard boiled eggs, peeled & sliced

Cucumbers, thinly sliced

Niçoise-style olives

Cherry tomatoes

Feta or goat cheese (another Oklahoma original…)

Extra virgin olive oil, or your favorite vinaigrette

The steps are as easy as 1-2-3 (cha, cha, cha):

1)  Assemble  ingredients on a pretty plate.

2)  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (or vinaigrette), followed by a twist or two of the pepper mill.

3)  Enjoy!

No need to debate… just dance.

Enjoying foodie freedom of expression,

~ Kim

25 thoughts on “The Great Nicoise Debate

  1. You have a great point! My favorite Nicoise salad has no meat! So see where interpretations vary…mos would not consider mine a Nicoise at all!
    Great post!

  2. I have a bone to pick with….wordpress….I JUST got this post in my mailbox…what the heck! OK OK not the time nor the place…I wish I could have seen this earlier because it would have inspired me to have a delightful Salade Kimcoise ;) As always lovely post and lovely pics!

  3. mMMMM! The sunlight slanting across the pics of the salad is just beckoning me to sit outside in a patch of warmth . . . (if only there were one to be found on this cloudy day!)

  4. My heart beats faster when I click on the link to your blog KNOWING I am about to receive a visual and written FEAST! My soul is hungry… and you feed her. Ironically for me, it is about your photography and writing and has nothing to do with the food! hmmmmmm… but on second look… I’m going to make that for me and boyzzz tomorrow!
    xoxo

  5. Yum, I’m ready to revisit this salad and YES, in my mind the more variations the better! (I’m only a purist when it comes to chocolate.) Thank you for bringing these dishes to light and to life, Kimby.

  6. When I started training in kitchens if a recipe was not in
    Le Repertoire De La Cuisine it did not exist.. And if I remember correctly there was no tuna in that version. Much to my surprise I do not still have a copy of this book. I have moved so far beyond that kind of pedantic nonsense a long time ago.
    To quote a reviewer on Amazon “No pictures, no measurements, no serving portions or cooking time. If you need these details, look elsewhere. Le Repertoire is for those who knows how to cook and wishes to refine, master, “and innovate. The first and last word in French cuisine, a leitmotif for those wishing to create fusion cuisine, a most remarkable compendium.” Says it all

    I love your plating and I know it tastes great and after all has been said that is all that matters

  7. Nicoise salad is my #3 favorite salad! I love hard boiled eggs in the salad and I can eat this simple salad three times a day (plus some main dish.. not just salad haha). Great recipe!

  8. I’m new to Nicoise Salad & it’s great learning it all at one go here! I’ve missed u, dear! My apology for not being here the last couple of posts. Will chk out the rest :) Have a lovely week! Hugs XOXO

    • Glad you liked the Nicoise links, Shirley! I’m sure you’d think up a fantastic combination of your own as well. No need to apologize for your absence — I’m always playing “catch-up” with commenting, ha, but it’s fun! You have a delightful week (almost the weekend now!), too.

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