French Nicoise Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

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Shanna Schad

When you think of classic French recipes, Salade Niçoise – or Niçoise Salad – is one of the most common recipes to show up in online searches. It is a classic French Salad consisting of tuna or anchovies, tomatoes, capers, potatoes, haricot verts, olives and a light vinaigrette.

Niçoise recipes come from the region of France known as Nice. Nice is pronounced like the word niece, instead of “that person is really nice,” and Niçoise is pronounced “knee-suaze.”  Many classic French recipes come from this area, and since it is coastal, many of the recipes contain seafood. Niçoise typically has either tuna or anchovies, and the tuna can either be cooked tuna steaks or canned. I went with canned yellowfin tuna for this salad.

French Nicoise Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette - Discover, A World Market Blog

Niçoise salads are typically served with all the ingredients arranged separately on a large serving platter. They are really pretty this way, but it’s not as easy to assemble a smaller salad from it. The American version of this salad is the Cobb salad, with all the ingredients arranged on top of the lettuce instead of tossed. You can make the salad either way: if you go with with most of the ingredients tossed, I would leave the hard boiled eggs aside, then add once plated. Or you can simply add all the ingredients to a smaller bowl and gently toss with the vinaigrette.

French Nicoise Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette - Discover, A World Market Blog

I made a champagne vinaigrette for this Niçoise salad. These salads typically have a light vinaigrette and I thought that the champagne vinegar would be a nice touch and make it extra “French.” The trick is to make your own champagne vinegar. Let some champagne go flat in a jar covered with cheesecloth and after a few weeks you will have vinegar.

French Nicoise Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette - Discover, A World Market Blog

This salad is filling and delicious, and in the words of Julia Child, “Bon Appétit!”

French Nicoise Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette - Discover, A World Market Blog

3 Comments

  • Ralph Ahseln

    I would question whether leaving Champagne (wine) out and covered .. is a satisfactory way of making vinegar.
    Wine, and white wine in particular, will likely Oxidize, the taste of which, is awful. Not good for salads for sure.
    A better way to make vinegar would be to purchase some Wine MOTHER (Mother of Vinegar). Available at Amazon and Wine/Beer supply houses.
    Oxidized wine would be seen as a Brownish liquid in White wine. Both White and Red wines that have oxidized will taste and smell like Sherry (Sherry is controlled oxidization of wine) or it can smell and taste like overly toasted nuts or burnt Marshmallows .. Not a nice combination for a Nicoisc Salad

  • Paulanne Chelf

    Your recipe does not list oil for the vinaigrette. Type? Amount? Thank you.

    • Barbara Jackson

      I noticed that, too. Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to oil. I will use 1/3 – 1/2 cup, starting with 1/3 cup and adding the rest only if necessary. Some might want to use more oil, but that will significantly increase the calories.

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