Salmon Niçoise Salad with Shallot Caper Vinaigrette

I made this salad a couple weeks ago. It pretty much has everything you could possibly want on one plate (unless you're me right now and can't stop thinking about pizza- Chicago style to be exact). Anyway...

Originating in France, classic Salad Niçoise is typically composed of tuna, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives and anchovies, with or without a bed of lettuce. Drawing inspiration from the classic Parisian version of this salad, I made my own Salad Niçoise, but (at least in todays recipe) it is quite different.

First, there's no tuna; instead, I chose to make this salad with salmon. You will probably never find a recipe with tuna on my blog (sorry guys) despite its huge popularity due to its high mercury content and overfishing. Both of which are scary stuff.

The other huge difference to this salad is that I included cooked red potatoes and green beans. The inclusion of these two vegetables, specifically cooked vegetables rather than raw, is a much more popular version of Salad Niçoise in other parts of the world.

You will also find sweet cherry tomatoes, spicy red onion, protein packed hard-boiled eggs, lots and lots of olives, and, of course, a bed of greens. Side note- why are hard-boiled eggs so GOOD in salads? I mean so flippin good!

Now, finally, the vinaigrette. This vinaigrette is flavor-FULL and the perfect complement to this protein and veggie packed salad. Capers and shallots sauteed and mixed with champagne vinaigrette, dijon mustard and honey and viola! Delicious, healthy and impressive to boot.

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Shallot Caper Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 15-20 minutes / Total Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 3-4 Servings

Ingredients

1 pound skin on fresh salmon filet
olive oil
salt+pepper
4-6 small red potatoes
8 ounces (1/2 pound) green beans, trimmed
6 hard boiled eggs, shelled and sliced
1/2 cup niçoise or greek olives, pitted
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/3 cup champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan add potatoes and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring to a boil. Continue to cook the potatoes until they are fork tender, approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on size). Once cooked, remove potatoes from pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve water.

  2. In a large bowl prepare an ice bath (simply fill the bowl with ice and water) and set aside.

  3. Return the potato water to a boil and cook the green beans until just soft, approximately 2 minutes. Using the same slotted spoon, remove green beans from the boiling water and place in the ice bath to stop cooking. Allow beans to rest until cold, then drain and pat dry with a clean towel.

  4. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add shallots and capers, cooking and stirring until capers burst, approximately 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in remaining olive oil, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, and fresh ground black pepper until fully incorporated. Add salt to taste.

  5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place the salmon in the skillet, skin-side-down and sear for 3-4 minutes or until fish is cooked half way through. Gently flip each salmon fillet and continue to cook for an additional few minutes, or until salmon is cooked to your liking.

  6. Meanwhile, slice potatoes and eggs crosswise and arrange lettuce on a platter. Top lettuce with sliced potatoes, eggs, olives, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and salmon.

  7. Drizzle salad with shallot caper vinaigrette and fresh cracked black pepper.  

Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Marla Meridith 

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