Love and Olive Oil

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

The best thing about this salad? The dressing. The olive vinaigrette is fantastic, and even if you don’t like the typical ‘niçoise’ salad assembly, you can still use this dressing on just about anything. We’ve made niçoise salads before, like this one, that just have a simple lemon Dijon vinaigrette. And those are still plenty delicious, but the dressing on this one really takes it over the top.

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

While the recipe originally called for a grilled fillet of salmon, we went the canned route. Granted, Taylor shot me a skeptical look when I first added the canned salmon to the cart, but I think he came around once he realized that no, it was not nuclear salmon, and actually tasted pretty darn good. You could use tuna too, if you’d like, or skip the fish altogether.

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings. Adapted from Epicurious.

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For dressing:
10 pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil

For salad:
3/4 pound small Yukon Gold or boiling potatoes
1 (7.5 ounce) can salmon, drained and flaked
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces baby arugula (4 cups)
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
Handful of small basil leaves
4 lemon wedges


Whisk together dressing ingredients in a bowl.

Cover potatoes with water in a 4-quart pot and season well with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix flaked salmon with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste), and the juice of half a lemon.

Transfer potatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add green beans to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking.

Halve potatoes while still warm and toss with 2 tablespoons dressing. (Alternatively, if you want more flavorful, crispy potatoes, boil them until just barely fork tender, halve, and add to a preheated cast iron or heavy skillet with a bit of olive oil. Cook in a single layer until cut side is golden brown and crisp. Add some smoked paprika for a little extra kick)

Toss green beans, cherry tomatoes, and arugula with enough dressing to coat, then toss with potatoes. Divide among plates with salmon and eggs. Sprinkle with basil (and salmon skin, if using). Serve with lemon wedges and remaining dressing.

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  1. I made this for hubby and me on Thursday night. I did actually buy some lovely salmon fillets and grilled them as I did with the potatoes also. It was FANTASTIC! Hubby has been treating me like a princess ever since. It was totally worth the extra bit of work. Thank you. The dressing is wonderful!

  2. This salad looks fantastic! I am tempted by Nicoise salad again and again, but something keeps me from making it. I guess that all the elements are laid our separately makes it look complicated to make? I know I would love this, though, so I need to get over whatever is holding me back!

  3. Such a beautiful presentation.

  4. Wow, that salad is beautiful! Can’t wait to read more!

  5. How do you recommend dealing with the bones in canned salmon? I know that some people just eat them, but I have found them pretty off-putting.

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