Dinner/ fish and seafood/ Salad

Salmon Niçoise Salad

12 June 2022 By Aleksandra

This Salmon Nicoise salad recipe is a spin on the classic Niçoise salad – we’re replacing tuna with baked salmon. It features tender salmon, potatoes, eggs, green beans, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, and delicious honey mustard dressing. It’s quite filling so it would be perfect for lunch or even dinner.

Salmon Nicoise salad on a white plate.

What is Nicoise salad?

Niçoise salad is a French salad (Salade Niçoise) made with just raw vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies or tuna. Making Nicoise salad with potatoes and green beans is very popularized nowadays, but according to this article by David Lebovitz, a food blogger living in Paris, Nicoise salad is prepared with only raw vegetables, boiled eggs, and tuna OR anchovies.

The first time I ate Nicoise salad at a restaurant, it was made with potatoes, green beans, and eggs, so I guess that’s why it tastes best for me made this way.

This recipe also differs from the original because we’re using baked salmon instead of tuna. Anchovies go into the dressing. This may not be an authentic Niçoise salad, but I can assure you – it’s absolutely delicious!

What does Niçoise mean? Niçoise comes from the French phrase à la niçoise and means “of Nice”. Nice is a French city on the Mediterranean coast, where it is said this salad have originated.

Ingredients

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Here’s what you need to make this delicious salad:

Labeled salmon Nicoise salad ingredients.
  • salmon fillets – you could also use canned tuna instead, I think smoked salmon would also be delicious, shrimp or chicken would also work great
  • lettuce – I like to use crunchy Romaine lettuce for this salad and especially Romaine lettuce hearts
  • potatoes – go for salad potatoes (Yukon gold, fingerlings, or red potatoes), and not starchy potatoes
  • olives and capers – optional if you don’t like them, I used Kalamata olives
  • tomatoes – grape or cherry tomatoes, but you can also use regular larger tomatoes
  • green beans – the best would be French green beans (haricots verts) which are very thin and tender
  • eggs

What you could also add: cucumber, radishes, avocado, red onions.

Here’s what you need for Nicoise salad dressing:

Labeled ingredients for Salmon Nicoise salad dressing.

Anchovies – they add so much flavor to the dressing. I would really urge you to not omit them! Chose anchovies that are sold in oil in a jar. If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the jar, you can make Caesar salad dressing or this pasta puttanesca! They also freeze really well.

How to make it step by step

Nicoise salad dressing in a food processor. Salmon fillets in a baking dish.

STEP 1: Make the dressing: Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of olive oil (reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons for later) and the remaining ingredients for the dressing to a food processor bowl and blend at very low speed until all the ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper.

STEP 2: Bake the salmon: Place the fillets in a baking dish (don’t remove the skin), season with salt and pepper, then spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing over the fillets. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until cooked through or the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the fillet has reached 145°F (63°C). I usually take them out at 140°F (60°C) and they come to the safe temperature while resting. Let the fillets rest for at least 5 minutes before flaking into smaller pieces.

The baking time will depend on the thickness of the fish – it will take from 10 to 20 minutes.

You could also just pan-fry salmon fillets if you don’t want to turn on the oven.

STEP 3: Finish the dressing: add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dressing (you want it thicker for the salmon and thinner to serve as a dressing). Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.

Cooked potatoes in a pot. Cooked green beans in a pot. Assembling salmon Nicoise salad.

STEP 4: Cook the potatoes, green beans, and eggs: potatoes will need about 10-15 minutes of cooking time depending on their size (peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly sized chunks or if you have very small potatoes you can cook them skin on), green beans 3-7 minutes depending on their thickness (trim the stem side of the beans), and eggs 6 minutes (lower them gently into boiling water and cook for 6 minutes, then immediately add to a bowl filled with ice water and crack their shells, when cold enough to handle, peel them and cut in half).

You could also pan-fry boiled potatoes in oil to brown them and make them crispy. You could also roast the potatoes instead of boiling them.

STEP 5: Assemble the salad: on a very large plate arrange the lettuce leaves, cut in half tomatoes, cut in half eggs, olives, salmon fillets (sprinkle them with chopped capers) – you can leave them whole for a nicer presentation of flake them with a fork and discard the skin, boiled potatoes, and green beans. Drizzle over the dressing.

Enjoy!

A close-up picture of Salmon Nicoise salad on a white plate.

What to serve it with

  • a crispy baguette with butter or focaccia would be perfect for this salad
  • a glass of chilled rose or white wine

Storage / how to make it ahead

This salad makes a great make-ahead meal. You can easily prep it for 4 days and take for lunch to work. It would be better to keep all the ingredients separately from the dressing but the

More delicious “salad for dinner” recipes

One serving of Salmon Nicoise salad on a white plate.

Below you will find information about the ingredients and how to prepare the recipe. For the measurements and detailed instructions scroll down to the printable recipe card.

Salmon Nicoise Salad

This Salmon Nicoise salad recipe is a spin on the classic Niçoise salad – we’re replacing tuna with baked salmon. It features tender salmon, potatoes, eggs, green beans, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, and delicious honey mustard dressing. It’s quite filling so it would be perfect for lunch or even dinner.
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Salmon Nicoise salad on a white plate.
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 622kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the salad:

  • 1 lb (450g) salmon fillets
  • 1 lb (450g) potatoes
  • a handful green beans 5oz/140g
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 8 leaves Romaine lettuce hearts
  • a couple of olives
  • 2 teaspoons capers

for the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • a couple of twigs dill
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Make the dressing: Add 1/4 cup (60ml) of olive oil (reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons for later) and the remaining ingredients for the dressing to a food processor bowl and blend at very low speed until all the ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake the salmon: Place the fillets in a baking dish (don't remove the skin), season with salt and pepper, then spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing over the fillets. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until cooked through or the temperature in the center of the thickest part of the fillet has reached 145°F (63°C). I usually take them out at 140°F (60°C) and they come to the safe temperature while resting. Let the fillets rest for at least 5 minutes before flaking into smaller pieces. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the fish – it will take from 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Finish the dressing: add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dressing (you want it thicker for the salmon and thinner to serve as a dressing). Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Cook the potatoes, green beans, and eggs: potatoes will need about 10-15 minutes of cooking time depending on their size (peel the potatoes and cut into evenly sized chunks or if you have very small potatoes you can cook them skin on), green beans 3-7 minutes depending on their thickness (trim the stem side of the beans), and eggs 6 minutes (lower them gently into boiling water and cook for 6 minutes, then immediately add to a bowl filled with ice water and crack their shells, when cold enough to handle, peel them and cut in half).
  • Assemble the salad: on a very large plate arrange the lettuce leaves, cut in half tomatoes, cut in half eggs, olives, salmon fillets (sprinkle them with chopped capers) – you can leave them whole for a nicer presentation or flake them with a fork and discard the skin, boiled potatoes, and green beans. Drizzle over the dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Anchovies – they add so much flavor to the dressing. I would really urge you to not omit them! Chose anchovies that are sold in oil in a jar. If you’re wondering what to do with the rest of the jar, you can make Caesar salad dressing or this pasta puttanesca! They also freeze really well.
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Salad
Cuisine French
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