This well-known Mediterranean salad originated in Nice in the Provence-Alpes Côte-d’Azur region of France. In its traditional form, it is generally made with only the best quality raw vegetables and extra-virgin olive oil and, perhaps, a bit of lemon juice. From there, in typical French fashion, numerous regional and international variations have developed.
Our Salade Niçoise recipe includes steamed lobster, French potato salad, steamed and raw fresh vegetables, anchovies, artichokes, Niçoise and Picholine olives and a tarragon vinaigrette. But every ingredient can be modified or replaced to make it your way. Rather than lobster you can add shrimp, scallops, salmon or tuna, either fresh or preserved. If you like to use tuna, I would suggest that you try a good quality tuna packed in olive oil, ventresca tuna or even a more expensive blend of Mediterranean tuna. David Rosengarten has a short article in “The Rosengarten Report” that describes the differences between the various types of preserved tuna. But use your favorite brand of canned tuna and it will still be an outstanding dish. Beyond the lobster, you can add your favorite vegetables, different olives, eliminate the anchovies, use a different vinaigrette. One popular version uses white wine and chicken stock, for example. You can even serve a warm version of a salad niçoise. Two good examples are the Warm Salmon Salad Niçoise from the Rouxbe Cooking School, and the Hot Niçoise Salad from Gwyneth Paltrow. This technique works especially well when the weather is colder and good ripe tomatoes are not available.
Once again, experiment and enjoy.
View the full recipe for Salade Niçoise with Lobster in our Recipes section.