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Salmon Salad Nicoise

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Salmon Salad Nicoise

Who knew salads could cause such heated controversy?  Salad Nicoise originated in Nice, France and as of the late 19th century consisted of tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, anchovies and Nicoise olives, all tossed in olive oil.  Over the years, various chefs began to experiment with this popular dish adding baby potatoes, green beans and tuna, among other things.  The variations of the Salad Nicoise grew, as did the indignation of the Salad Nicoise traditionalists.  In 2016, when celebrated French chef Helene Darroze used cooked potatoes and green beans in her Salad Nicoise recipe on facebook, there was a major outcry by many traditionalists who said it was sacrilege. Happily, here in Ireland, we are easy going and adaptable, so we're hoping this non-traditional recipe doesn't provoke any outrage from the foodie community.  In fact, we have suggested other options you can subsititute if you don't like what we have used here. 

  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 12 baby potatoes
  • 16 Piccolo or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 80g pitted green olives (or black)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 200g cooked salmon flaked into bite sized pieces (tradional version: use sardines or tuna)
  • 2 baby gem lettuce or bag of mixed leaves 
  • Other raw uncooked vegetable options: red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts, early season green beans 

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

  • 350ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove or garlic puree
  • 1 stalk of fresh tarragon or 1/2 tsp of dried tarragon
  • Salt and pepper

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

  • On a low temperature warm up the vinegar, 50ml water, garlic and tarragon in a pan.
  • Remove from heat and set aside for 20 minutes to infuse.
  • Whisk in the mustard then the olive oil.

FOR THE SALAD:

  • Squeeze some oil and lemon juice onto the salmon, wrap in tin foil and bake for approx. 20 minutes at preheated 180C oven. Set aside to cool and flake into bite sized pieces.
  • Boil the eggs for approx. 7 minutes until hard boiled. Cool.
  • Bring the potatoes to a boil and and then simmer for approx. 10 minutes or until cooked. Refresh under cold water. When cold, halve or quarter them and place in a bowl.
  • Add the tomatoes, olives, onion, salmon and lettuce leaves.
  • Dress the salad with about 5 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss.
  • Peel and quarter the eggs and place on top.
  • Season to taste.  Serve immediately.