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If I could, I would drop everything and travel and eat my way around the globe. *Sigh* but responsibilites, life, reality, work, etc. etc. Instead, I love to cook different cuisines to make it feel like I’m on holiday! Yesterday’s daydreaming took me to the French Riviera, so I figured my dinner would have to follow suit. In order to use up some salmon leftovers in the fridge, I decided on a colourful French Niçoise salad for dinner and it was magnifique! Easy, healthy, fresh, and so so summery, this dish really checks all of the boxes! Serve up my twist on a Niçoise salad by swapping out the tuna for salmon (easier to find and cheaper!), and drizzling it with a beautiful lemon-caper vinaigrette. This recipe is so flexible and can honestly take whatever fish and vegetables you find in your fridge. I used up salmon leftovers I had from the night before, but if you’re cooking it tonight, check out my quick method for perfectly roasted salmon. Click here for cooking method.
Last night’s salmon was served with simple boiled mini potatoes with champagne vinegar and green beans drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil. These are traditional components of a Niçoise salad, but you could also try this recipe with asparagus, broccolini or rapini. Whatever vegetables you choose, I recommend cooking them by blanching or boiling in salted water and then seasoning with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper afterwards.
I threw on some radicchio for a bit of bitterness, tomatoes for freshness, and Kalamata olives for a salty punch. Again, you can use whatever lettuce you have, but I love the colour and bitter flavour of radicchio in this recipe. And finally, I finished off the salad with a classic boiled egg. I know, they can be a bit scary. But I thought to myself, the French food authorities must have chosen to put them on there for a reason, so I went with it…and it really worked! The fatty richness of the egg really helps elevate the flavour of the vegetables and complements the flavour of the fish. Strange, but good. Try it…or feel free to leave this last component off if you wish. I won’t be offended, but the French might be!
This Niçoise salad recipe is really versatile and easy. Whip this up for a quick weekday lunch or dinner. or impress your guests with this colourful and different salad idea. Bon appetite!
Salmon Niçoise Salad with Lemon-Caper Dressing
Salmon Niçoise Salad is a fresh and healthy way to use up salmon leftovers for a kick-ass packed lunch or dinner the next day.
For the Salad
- Leftover salmon*
- 2 Eggs
- 4 cups Green beans, trimmed
- 1.5 Ibs Mixed baby potatoes
- 1/2 Head of radicchio
- 1/3 cup Heirloom tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tbsp Fresh dill, roughly chopped
- Lemon wedges for garnish
For the Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette
- 4 Shallots, diced
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp Capers, roughly chopped
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
This recipe calls for roasted salmon. If using up leftovers, great! If cooking salmon from scratch, see link above!
For the vinaigrette, cook the shallots with olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Add the capers and 1 tbsp of the caper juice to the pan. Sauté for another minute. Add the lemon juice and vinegar, turn off the heat, and season heavily with pepper. Check that the vinaigrette is salty enough (the capers are quite salty) and add additional seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
Slice mini potatoes in half and boil for about 10 minutes (or until fork tender) in heavily salted water. Drain the potatoes and immediately pour about a third of the dressing over the warm potatoes.** Gently stir to ensure that the potatoes are coated.
Boil the eggs. For a just-cooked yolk in the centre, boil for about 8 minutes. For slightly runny, cook 6 minutes. For a fully-cooked yolk, boil for 10 minutes. Slice the eggs into quarters when ready to serve.
Cook the green beans. You can boil the green beans or blanch them,*** until just slightly bendy but still crunchy. Immediately submerge the beans in an ice water bath.****
Plate the salad. Put the radicchio down first, then the potatoes and green beans. Add the olives, tomatoes, eggs, and then the salmon right on top. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!
*If making salmon from scratch, follow my recipe for 5-minute roasted salmon in the link above!
**Potatoes will absorb the most amount of flavour when still warm. If the vinaigrette is not finished yet, keep the potatoes covered and add the dressing once complete.
***Boil the green beans for about 3 minutes in salted water. If you're looking for an even easier method, I like to blanch my green beans. Boil water in the kettle. Place the beans in a bowl. Pour the boiling water over the green beans and let sit for a few minutes until the right doneness. I like this method because you can easily control how long the beans cook and it's harder to overcook them this way.
****Always submerge your green vegetables in an ice-water bath after cooking. This means just filling a bowl with cold water and ice cubes. This method shocks the vegetable and immediately stops the cooking, which keeps the vegetables bright green and crunchy!