When I was on vacation in Europe (man, I love saying that!), I saw niçoise salads on just about every cafe and restaurant menu. I indulged in one, enjoying the crunchy veggies, soft eggs, and pungent anchovies. I ate this salad in Brussels, so I’m including a gratuitous Belgian street scene.
When I came back home, just about every food magazine I read had a recipe for a niçoise salad. There were 2 recipes alone in Gwyneth Paltrow’s book. Most of the recipes swapped out salmon for the tuna. I figured that all these magazine editors (and Gwyneth) couldn’t be wrong, and made a salmon niçoise salad.
This salad is a perfect make-ahead meal, since so many ingredients need prepping. You can poach the salmon, boil the eggs, and cook the potatoes and green beans the night/morning before eating the salad. And what’s so great is that the prepped ingredients don’t need to be reheated – it’s a salad. A cold salad. Once it’s time to eat, it’s just a matter of whipping together the dressing, and throwing everything together. Speaking of the dressing – it totally brought everything together. Drizzle it lightly and toss well. It can overpower the other ingredients if poured on too thickly.
From Sunset magazine
- Place bay leaf, kosher salt, peppercorns, and wine in a large saucepan. Add salmon and enough water to cover. Remove salmon, cover pan, and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, then gently place salmon in the liquid. Simmer, covered, until salmon is just opaque, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, and white wine vinegar. Slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is well combined. Whisk in the parsley and basil. Season with salt.
- With a spatula, carefully remove the salmon from the poaching liquid. Set on a plate, and chill for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Discard poaching liquid.
- To assemble the salad, break salmon into large pieces, discarding the skin. Arrange arugula onto a large platter. Top with salmon, eggs, green beans, olives, and tomatoes. Drizzle dressing evenly over the salad. Toss, and serve.