French Niçoise Summer Salad

French Niçoise Summer Salad
Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables
Fresh veggies, ahi tuna and hard boiled eggs create this classic French salad, perfect for dinner or a crowd.

Say it with me, “nee-SWAZ” , how many of you knew that? I admit that up until a few years ago I completely butchered the pronunciation of this popular French salad. Niçoise Salad is a salad that originated in Nice, France. With it’s beautiful colors, composed arrangement and healthy options, it’s no wonder it has become popular all over the world.


There are many arguments about how the Niçoise Salad should be prepared, traditionally it was made with tomatoes, hard boiled eggs,
Niçoise olives, anchovies and dressed with olive oil. Many variations have occurred throughout the years and regions of the world. Common ways to prepare include topping with canned or cooked tuna, raw veggies (I like to blanch most) and even potatoes. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to enjoy this salad. Top it with all the veggies and goodies you enjoy.

Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables
An extra drizzle of dressing gives this salad life.

Summer Salad

Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables
A few simple ingredients including fresh herbs make this salad dressing perfect! Use on this salad or any other this summer.

With summer around the corner, I yearn for meals like this. Simple, filling yet light and the ability to throw together on short notice. It makes planning a weeknight dinner super easy! In my version I’ve created a vinaigrette with fresh herbs and a punch of acidity from red wine vinegar and lemon. I’ve strayed away from some of the traditionalists and have included: cannellini beans, potatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and even some English peas. The options are truly endless, pick your favorites and leave out the others.

Make your own

Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables, tuna
Seared Ahi Tuna makes this salad even more special. Garlic, capers and lemon with the addition of red peppercorns gives the tuna so much flavor.

Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables, tuna
A simple sear gives this tuna so much flavor.

I’m not a huge fan of canned tuna, so I’ve topped this one with incredible ahi tuna, seared with lemon, capers and red peppercorns. Find the recipe below! Not a fan of tuna? Add some chicken instead!

Don’t feel limited or intimidated by this recipe, truly use it as a guide to create your own version of Niçoise salad. Do try the dressing and even cooking up some of your own tuna for the ultimate and elegant version.

As always, I love seeing your creations, tag me on Instagram or Facebook!! Don’t forget to Pin the recipe!

Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables
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Nicoise, salad, fresh, summer, vegetables

French Niçoise Summer Salad

  • Author: Cosette’s Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Cuisine: French


Use this recipe as a guide but don’t feel limited by the ingredients, be creative!




  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tsp ground or Dijon mustard
  • 12 tsp kosher salt (start with 1 tsp and adjust to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp toum (sub 1 large clove garlic smashed if you don’t have toum)
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Ahi Tuna:

  • 1 pound Ahi tuna, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp toum
  • 1 tsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red peppercorns
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp capers

Salad Components:

  • Green leaf or butter lettuce
  • Baby potatoes, steamed or boiled until tender (see notes)**
  • Radishes
  • Baby carrots
  • Cannellini beans
  • Hard boiled eggs (see notes)**
  • Tomatoes
  • English or Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Niçoise olives
  • Green beans (blanched, see notes)**
  • English peas (blanched, see notes)**
  • Canned or prepared tuna (see above)



  1. Place all your ingredients into a jar.
  2. Seal tight and shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined.
  3. Store any leftover dressing in fridge, bring to room temperature before using and shake again to reconstitute.

Ahi Tuna:

  1. Prepare tuna by cutting into 1″ chunks
  2. Toss tuna pieces with toum, salt and dill, let sit for 30 minutes to absorb flavor or even overnight
  3. In a heavy bottomed or cast iron skillet, heat your olive oil on medium high heat
  4. Once hot, add your peppercorns and place tuna pieces in on one side
  5. Allow to sear until crisp bottom appears, about 3-4 minutes
  6. Flip to opposite side and sear again
  7. Finally finish in pan with capers and lemon juice


  1. To arrange salad, begin by fanning out your lettuce
  2. Next, begin placing each item around the edges, trying to alternate colors for a vivid appearance
  3. Place canned tuna or prepared ahi tuna in center
  4. Drizzle dressing on top of all the components to your liking
  5. Garnish with extra dill


**Blanch greens beans, English peas or other hard greens by placing in boiling water for 2-3 minutes then immediately shocking them in ice cold water.

**After cooking potatoes, toss with dressing while still warm. I like to cook mine in my Instant pot for 5 minutes on manual and natural release, 1 cup water and rack. Boiling for 20-25 minutes until fork tender also works.

**Hard boiled eggs: place eggs in water and begin a 10 minute timer once begins to boil.
Instant Pot ~ place eggs in Instant Pot with rack and 1 cup water, set to 5 minutes manual, quick release and immediately place in ice cold water

**Salad can be composed in a large platter as shown or in individual plates

Keywords: salad, nicoise, summer,

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