This may not be a Classical Salade Nicoise, but my Nicoise Salad with Grilled Shrimp is sure to please! When food looks as good as it tastes, life is good. And it's healthy too!
How to Make a Nicoise Salad
Some of my fondest memories are of our travels through France and Italy. Trying new dishes and learning first hand how they taste and seeing how they were presented. Of course, we can Google the dishes to see what they look like but trying them in person adds a whole new perspective to the learning process.
One of our trips years ago had us in the South of France spending a few days in Nice, and how can you not order a Salade Nicoise when you’re in the city that gave the salad its name. I still remember the little café on the Cours Seleya where we’d go for breakfast each morning….sigh. A plateful of pastries, butter that tasted better than any I’ve had, local jams, and of course cappuccino.
Nice would be the home of the best pizza I’ve ever had and of course the classic Salade Nicoise. What seemed like a good idea at the time when Lisa ordered it, changed drastically when she saw the seared almost raw tuna! Let’s just say I thoroughly enjoyed it, as she made do with the pasta dish I had ordered.
What is a Nicoise Salad?
Originating in the French city of Nice. The salad is traditionally made of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives and anchovies or tuna, dressed with olive oil, described as “simple food for poor people”.
I’ve never recreated this salad at home, and I’ve found myself wondering why last week. With all the glorious fresh produce in the market, I decided the time was right to bring a taste of the South of France to our table.
What Else Can I use to make a Nicoise Salad?
Traditionally a Nicoise Salad contains tuna but I opted to use grilled shrimp. You can swap out the shrimp for just about any seafood, grilled chicken or beef.
Some of my favorites replacements for the shrimp are:
- halibut (or any white fish)
What other changes could I make to a Nicoise Salad?
You can swap out any of the ingredients to build a salad that is more to your liking. Have fun with the ingredients and change them up depending upon what you have in the house or what’s in season.
Some of my fun replacements are:
- potato salad instead of baby potatoes
- added marinated artichokes
- ceviche style shrimp instead of grilled shrimp
- added blue cheese or gorgonzola
- roasted cauliflower in place of the green beans
- added cooked pasta
You can see how easy it is to change up this classic salad and enjoy it with whatever ingredients you have on hand.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like these:
- Blackened Salmon Salad
- How to Make the Perfect Dinner Salad
- Perfect Summer Salad
- Blackened Shrimp Nachos and Salad
Nicoise Salad with Grilled shrimp
- 1/2 pound grilled large shrimp I used 16 -20 count
- 1 romaine lettuce or lettuce of your choice
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 eggs hard-cooked and peeled
- 4 ounces button mushrooms
- 10 baby potatoes
- 4 ounces olives of your choice
- 4 ounces whole green beans
- fresh basil chopped as garnish
- fresh Italian parsley chopped as garnish
- zucchini blossoms to garnish optional
- sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste or your favorite dressing
- Season shrimp with old bay and olive oil, then place on a hot grill. Grill on each side for 1-2 minutes. (Shrimp can be boiled or sauteed if you like)Allow shrimp to completely cool, then peel and devein.
- Wash romaine, dry leaves with paper towels and chop into bite-sized pieces
- Slice tomatoes into wedges and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, and sea salt (all to taste)
- Place eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. Allow eggs to boil for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and allow them to sit in the hot water to finish cooking for 20 minutes. Rinse in cold water and peel immediately. Slice eggs in quarters.
- Boil potatoes until they are just tender, rinse in cold water and allow to cool. Slice potatoes in half and add olive oil sea salt, black pepper and fresh chopped Italian parsley (all to taste)
- Coat mushrooms with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper, Either sauté mushrooms, roast or grill until tender. Allow to cool.
- Add green beans to salted boiling water and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water. Allow to cool.
- Place dried chopped romaine on a large platter
- begin by placing tomatoes in the center of the platter then work your way out to the edges making small piles with the other ingredients. There is no set pattern, you just want to make it appealing to the eye.
- Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and black pepper to taste, or use your favorite dressing.