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Inspired Recipe: Non-Traditional Salad Nicoise

Inspired Recipe: Non-Traditional Salad Nicoise

Here’s a non-traditional salad nicoise recipe inspired by Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife.


Because I imagine Hadley would order a salad nicoise on a warm summer afternoon at a Parisian sidewalk cafe while she watches Ernest pore over his latest manuscript.

Unlike a traditional salad nicoise, in which everything is raw but the eggs, ours features a fair number of cooked vegetables. For a more authentic recipe, check out David Lebovitz's classic salade Nicoise.

Read our recommendation of The Paris Wife.

Salad ingredients



  • 1 head butter lettuce (or whichever lettuce you prefer)
  • 1/2 shallot (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 handfuls green beans (preferably thinner haricots vert)
  • 1 can tuna (packed in water)
  • 1/2 cup Nicoise olives (or black olives in a pinch)
  • 1 red potato
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar (for poaching eggs)


Set a pot of water boiling and add the potato. Boil 20 to 30 minutes, or until a fork can poke to the center without too much resistance.

While the water is boiling, prepare the dressing. Whisk together EVOO, balsamic, mustard, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Toss the lettuce with the dressing to coat, then divide onto two plates.

Top lettuce with chunks of tuna, olives, tomatoes, capers.

When potato is finished, remove it from the water and let cool. Add green beans to the water; boil 4 minutes or until cooked, but still firm. Blanche immediately in cold water.

Top each salad with chopped potato and whole green beans.

Poach the two eggs: Add three inches of water to a skillet, bring to a simmer (but not a boil). Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water. Crack each egg and gently and very slowly slide the yolk and white into the simmering water. Wait 4 minutes, remove gently with a slotted spoon.

Top each salad with an egg, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with a side of crusty baguette. Voila!

Salad ingredients

Looking for some poaching tips? Look no further.

Salad nicoise
Book Recommendation: Trapeze by Simon Mawer

Book Recommendation: Trapeze by Simon Mawer

Book Recommendation: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Book Recommendation: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain