Salade Nicoise: How-To: Another Cooking for One recipe

The salade nicoise has got to be the best salad ever. It involves only a handful of ingredients (two of which I've featured recently as make-ahead basics, here  and here).

When my daughter and I were in Paris, I ordered salade nicoise. What I got was not at all what I was accustomed to from our American version.

For one thing, there was rice in it. Yes, you read that right, rice. For another thing, the tuna tasted and looked odd, and overcooked. Lastly, there was some heavy dressing with a bit of cream in it. I won't judge the entire country on how this one brasserie made their Nicoise. Instead, I guess I'll just have to venture back over to France to find the perfect version.

In the meantime, I decided to try my hand at home making this lovely salad. Usually, there are boiled eggs included, but when I was almost finished making (and photographing) the salad, I realized I had forgotten to make them. To my surprise, I didn't miss the eggs at all.  I actually think I preferred it without the eggs, but you can go ahead and add them back in if you want to.

The key to my success was the freshness of the tuna steak. Of course, if you can't locate a tuna steak, you can use a can of best-quality (that's a Gran-Franism, the best quality thing) solid olive oil packed tuna fish. Drain some of the oil out, so that the flavor of the dressing will shine through.

I really enjoyed making this, especially since it was so simple and tasted so darned good.

Salade Nicoise

serves 1


  • A large handful of Salad Greens (I didn't measure, just grabbed as much as I thought I'd eat)
  • 1 serving of cooked Green Beans (recipe here)
  • 1 serving of Boiled Potatoes (recipe here)
  • 1/4 pound Tuna Steak
  • 4 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Place the salad greens, green beans and potatoes on a plate. Set aside.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed non-reactive pan over high heat.
  • Salt and pepper the tuna steak.
  • Once the pan is good and hot, add a small amount of olive oil.
  • Add the tuna steak to the super hot pan.
  • Cook on first side for five minutes.
  • Turn over the tuna steak and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove the tuna from the pan and let rest for a few minutes.
  • Mix the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper for the dressing.
  • Slice the tuna and place on top of the salad.
  • Sprinkle the dressing over the top of the salad and enjoy!