Sort-of-Salade Nicoise With Green Dressing 4.000
Aug 13, 2003

Sometimes you have to let loose.

Take this summer supper staple. Here a creamy herbaceous dressing is used instead of a vinaigrette, and smoked or cooked salmon stands in for tuna. Or serve it atop spinach or arugula and swap thinly sliced grilled tuna steaks for the salmon.

Servings: 4 - 6
  • For the salad
  • 1 pound red new potatoes
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, or 3 red tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 cup Nicoise olives (optional)
  • 1 pound salmon, smoked or cooked
  • For the dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 bunch watercress, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus additional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the salad: Place the potatoes in a saucepan, add enough cold water to cover, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes, until just fork-tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a colander to drain. Return the water to a boil, add the beans and cook 1 to 2 minutes, just until bright green and slightly tender. Transfer to a colander and place under cool running water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

For the dressing: In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, watercress, tarragon, chives, lemon juice and mustard, if using, until smooth and green, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste and, if desired, adjust the amount of lemon juice and/or mustard.

To serve, arrange the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, olives, if using, and salmon on each plate. Pass the dressing and plenty of pepper on the side.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Smoked Salmon" by Max Hansen and Suzanne Goldenson (Chronicle, 2003).

Tested by Renee Schettler.

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