Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad, jazzed up with a delicious pesto dressing! The perfect crisp, summer salad.
We had this salad for dinner a while ago and I never posted it. Now that the suffocating heat is hovering over so many of us I thought it might be of use to a few of you. Nicoise just means ‘in the style of Nice’, the French city on the Riviera where they often cook with olives, tomatoes, capers, and anchovies.
This is a cold crisp salad, with enough protein, thanks to the salmon, eggs and white beans, to be a filling meal. I usually make it once a summer, at least.
There’s no need for a recipe, but here is a list of the ingredients, just layer them attractively on a platter, or on individual plates. As long as your lettuce is crisp and your ingredients are cold, you can’t go wrong. You can use your favorite dressing or do as I did, drizzle the salad with a thin pesto, recipe below.
The only things you need to cook are the green beans, the new potatoes, and the eggs. Do this ahead of time so they can cool. The beans just get blanched for about 30 seconds in boiling water, then shocked in ice water to stop the cooking and retain their bright green color.
- crisp Romain lettuce leaves
- smoked salmon, flaked (get the kind that comes in a chunk, not thin slices)
- canned artichoke hearts, quartered
- canned white beans, drained and rinsed
- fresh green beans, sliced and blanched in boiling water, then shocked in ice water
- small new potatoes, cooked and then cooled and halved
- jarred roasted red peppers, cut in strips
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- hard boiled eggs, halved or quartered
- nicoise olives
- capers (optional)
- lemon wedges
- pesto dressing (see below)
- a large handful of basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic, rough chopped
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- juice of 1 lemon
- Layer everything on top of the lettuce, and then drizzle with vinaigrette or Pesto Dressing.
- Put the basil leaves and garlic into the bowl of a small food processor and process until the basil is finely chopped. Add olive oil and process until you get a thin dressing consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust to your liking.