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Nicoise Salad Bar

Make-Your-Own Nicoise Salad Bar

A simple salad bar using the traditional Nicoise for inspiration is an easy way to make meals, particularly during the summer. Feel free to scale the recipe up or down depending on how many are at your table. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 441 kcal
Author katiemorford



  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 pound small, waxy potatoes, such as red-skinned or fingerlings
  • 1/2 pound green beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 head butter lettuce or 2 heads Little Gem lettuce, washed and dried
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 five-ounce cans tuna, preferably packed in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Nicoise or other favorite olives
  • Salt and fresh black pepper


  1. Make the dressing by pounding the garlic and anchovies in a mortar and pestle or mincing on a cutting board. Transfer to a small bowl and add the Dijon, lemon juice, and vinegar. Whisk well. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking until blended. Whisk in the tarragon as well as freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  2. Put the potatoes into a medium pot, cover generously with water, and add a few teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil until tender enough to easily cut in half. Use a slotted spoon to scoop potatoes from the pot, set aside, and cut in half when cool enough to touch. 

  3. Bring the water back to a boil, add the green beans, and blanch just until barely tender (the time will vary, but figure roughly 2 minutes). Empty into a colander in the sink and rinse with cold water. If you care about preserving the bright color of the beans, dump them into a bowl of ice water for 1 minute, then drain again. 
  4. Hard boil the eggs by putting them in a small pot covered by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and leave for 12 minutes. Put the eggs under running water until cool enough to peel and slice in half.  

  5. Arrange the potatoes, green beans, eggs, lettuce, tomatoes, tuna, and olives on a large platter. Lightly season the eggs, potatoes, and green beans with  salt and pepper. Set the platter in the middle of the table with dressing on the side, and let everyone assemble their own salad. You may have leftover dressing, which will be good for another few days, stashed in the fridge.