Salad Niçoise hails from France and is traditionally composed of hard-boiled eggs, tuna, anchovies, with tomatoes and Niçoise olives and a vinaigrette. Today there are many different variations around the world, and commonly you will find green beans, potatoes and lettuce added to the mix. Here is my veganized version with spinach, blanched green beans and asparagus, baby potatoes, fresh tomatoes, radishes, red onions and dill with a flavorful Dijon caper vinaigrette.
I have seen salad Niçoise listed on menus of various restaurants but it wasn’t until I was travelling through Paris that I had a vegetarian version. When I mentioned that I was veggie, a friend I was staying with was eager to come up with something we could all enjoy for lunch and thus, a vegetarian version of Salad Niçoise was born (though I’m sure we weren’t the first to have it that way). Blanched broccoli, green beans, asparagus, with boiled baby potatoes, olives, fresh tomatoes and a divine Dijon dressing was the creation that day. It was absolutely delicious and also gave me a new appreciation of the diverseness of Dijon mustard which I honestly had only been using in sandwiches up until that point.
This Dijon caper vinaigrette is simple and well balanced. The capers add a nice level of saltiness that is goes well with the acidity from the lemon and hint of spiciness from the Dijon. That being said, I know some people who aren’t too fond of capers, so if you decide to leave them out be sure to add in a little more salt or even add olives to the salad for more salt content (my hubby HATES olives so I have kind of become used to not using them in our house, but they would be delicious in this salad).
I wrote the salad recipe for a single-person serving, as I usually make this salad in separate salad bowls or plates as it highlights the beautiful ingredients that way and also allows for adjusting ingredients according to individual preference. The vinaigrette serves at least 4, so keep that in mind, but will also keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for later use if you don’t end up using it all.
I hope you enjoy my fresh and healthy veganized version of salad Niçoise as much as I do!
- SALAD (for each serving):
- 1-2 cups mixed greens or spinach
- 4-5 baby potatoes, boiled and cut in half (if necessary)
- 4-5 asparagus spears, blanched
- handful green beans, blanched
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- red onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 cocktail tomato(s), quartered (or handful of cherry tomatoes)
- fresh dill
- salt & pepper
- DIJON CAPER VINAIGRETTE (makes enough for 4 servings):
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about half lemon)
- 1 tbsp capers
- ¾ cup olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Prepare vegetables: boil baby potatoes (about 10 minutes), blanch green beans and asparagus (boil for about 3-5 minutes and then submerge in ice cold water), thinly slice radish and red onion, quarter cocktail tomatoes
- Prepare vinaigrette: mince garlic and place in small jar. Mix in Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and capers. Slowly whisk in olive oil and add salt & pepper to taste.
- Place spinach or mixed greens in individual salad bowl and top with prepared vegetables, sprigs of fresh dill, and salt & cracked pepper. Drizzle with Dijon caper vinaigrette