Vegetarian Salad Nicoise

Vegetarian Salad Nicoise

A full meal or a side-dish--Vegetarian Salad Nicoise, full of vegetables, beans and eggs, will leave you full and satisfied! 

I've been wanting to make this salad for years.  Traditionally, Salad Nicoise (nee-swaaz) has tuna as the main protein but that just won't do for vegetarians.  Switching the tuna with beans makes sense because beans have been a great source of protein for people who do not eat meat.  And the beans provide a nice creamy texture against the crunch of the vegetables.  Looking at this recipe you might think it's very complicated but it isn't.  It's basically a bunch of raw and cooked vegetables piled on a plate with some eggs and beans and a nice lemony vinaigrette to pull it all together.  And you don't have to make it all the same day.  Boil the potatoes and eggs the day before.  Even the green beans can be cooked ahead of time.  Once the cooking has been done it takes no more time to put together than your everyday garden or tossed salad.  Don and I each had a big plateful for dinner and were full and satisfied after eating.  Don kept commenting on how good it was and wanted more for supper.  Fortunately, I made the full recipe so there were a couple more servings left-over for another meal.  

Printable recipe at end of post.
Vegetarian Salad Nicoise (nee-swaaz)
  • 6-8 medium-sized red potatoes, boiled
  • 1 pound whole green beans, fresh or frozen (any cut)
  • 1 large tomato or 1- 1½ cups of cherry/grape tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 boiled eggs
  • ½ can/bottle pitted black or Kalamata olives, drained 
  • 1 can chickpeas or white beans, drained, rinsed and blotted dry
  • 1 small head of green lettuce (Romaine, Green or Red leaf, etc.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
        Optional ingredients:
  • 1 cucumbers, peeled and diced 
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled, sliced and cooked in lightly salted water until still crisp
  • 1 or 2 avocados peeled and sliced
  • 170ml/6 oz bottle artichoke hearts, in oil
  • 2 or 3 green onions, sliced
  • Any vegetable you like raw or cooked
        For dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or your favourite light coloured vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • Pinch of dry herbs such as oregano, basil or tarragon, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
How to make it:
You will need a large platter about 14 inches in diameter or a turkey platter will do as well.

Make the dressing: Shake all ingredients together in a jar or whisk together in a small bowl. Lay aside until needed.  Refrigerate if not using right away.  If you prefer you may use all vinegar or all lemon juice instead of both. Reshake or remix before using.

Prepare the salad ingredients:  
Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  You may half or quarter the potatoes if they are large. Drain and cool the potatoes.  Dice or slice the potatoes in bite size pieces.  Mix with about 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

Cook the green beans.  If using fresh beans, trim the ends and cook in salted boiling water 3-5 minutes.  They should still be crisp but if you like them cooked longer do so.  Chill the beans immediately with cold, running water or plunge in an ice bath.  Drain and place on paper towels to dry. If using frozen green beans follow package directions, cooking about 1 minute less. Drain and chill as for the fresh beans. 

Wash and cut whole tomato into small wedges or large dice.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.  Grape tomatoes can be left whole.  You should have 1 cup or more. 

Boil the eggs for 7-10 minutes, depending how hard you like your eggs.  When boiled put eggs under cold running water for about 1 minute.  Peel and place in refrigerator until chilled.  Cut eggs in half or in quarters. 

Drain the olives and place on paper toweling to dry.

Drain and rinse chickpeas.  Place on paper toweling to dry.  

Wash and dry lettuce.  Cut or tear lettuce into salad size pieces. 

Prepare any optional ingredients you may have chosen.

Most of the ingredients can be prepared early in the day or even the night before.  Refrigerate until ready to use if preparing beforehand.  

Assemble the salad:
Line the platter with the lettuce.  On top of lettuce, around the edge of the platter add the green beans, potatoes, eggs, olives and  tomatoes and any optionals. I used avocado next to the tomatoes. Pile the chickpeas in the middle.

Drizzle about half the dressing over the salad. Pass remaining dressing as needed.

Use salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Makes 4 main dinner salads or 8 side-dish salads.

Note:  If you do not like a lemon dressing or this one use your favourite vinaigrette.  A Greek or Italian dressing would be good substitute. 

Make the dressing by shaking all ingredients in a jar or whisk together in a bowl.

Cook the potatoes until fork tender.  Drain and cool.  

Cook the prepared green beans until crisp tender. I used frozen beans because fresh are hard to find in the winter and the price is sky-high.

As soon as the green beans are cooked plunge them in an ice bath or run cold water over them.  This keeps them from cooking further from the residual heat and keeps the colour nice and fresh.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas.

Lay the chickpeas and green beans on paper toweling to dry.

Prepare the remaining vegetables and eggs. 

Mix 2 tablespoons of the dressing with the sliced or diced potatoes.

Line the platter with the lettuce.  Arrange the vegetables and eggs around the edge of the platter.  Pile the chickpeas in the middle.  Drizzle with about half of the remaining dressing.

Vegetarian Salad Nicoise
Doesn't this look delicious? If you don't like olives or avocado try something else on the platter.

Vegetarian Salad Nicoise
How about eggs and potatoes and a few chickpeas? 

Vegetarian Salad Nicoise
And I think a few green beans and tomatoes would be delicious in my salad. And don't forget to take some of that lettuce hiding underneath.

Pass the dressing and salt and pepper for those who wish more on their salad.

This is my delicious Salad Nicoise.  I had some of everything on my plate. What a tasty dinner I had!

Don liked everything on the platter but doesn't like vinaigrette dressings so he chose his favourite Thousand Island dressing instead.  And he also had a tasty dinner!

Vegetarian Salad Nicoise
Salad Nicoise makes a delicious main dinner salad or side-dish that will leave you full and satisfied!

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩          


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