I have been craving all the salads lately which isn’t like me at all come wintertime! Usually, the cold really gets to me and I instinctively gravitate towards stews, soups and chilis. You know, anything ‘stick to your ribs’.
I really wanted to create a salad that is hearty and feels more robust than your average one. Typically Niçoise salads are made with tuna (which you can totally do if you prefer) but I wanted to recreate one that is vegetarian. So in this dish, we’re using navy beans which I love because they’re just so neutral and really allow the other ingredients to shine.
Before making this one, I had NEVER had a Niçoise salad before! But I figure, what better way to enjoy one than making my own homemade version?
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I can’t believe we’re already halfway through December. I’m sure I’m not the only person feeling the pressure this time of year. December brings with it a lot of stress, chaos and a big to do list. Especially as we approach the holidays.
What I have noticed in my practice is that this is the time of year that my clients tend to let things fall by the way side like their healthy eating practices which include hydrating, meal preparation and watching their sugar intake! But here’s the thing - it’s MOST important to implement these practices when we’re feeling stressed and when we have a lot going on. That’s when our body requires extra TLC in the form of healthy food and proper nourishment, water and self-care.
Even more reason to show yourself some love and prepare a gorgeous, hormone balancing, gut-loving, brain fuelling salad like this one!
What I love about this Niçoise salad is that it’s not just plain lettuce and some vegetables. It has variety, different textures, flavours and ingredients that make it really exciting. I love that it’s loaded with protein and healthy fat sources.
The navy beans and potatoes provide that starchy, carb element that makes it feel hearty and robust. I love the variety of vegetables used such as grape tomatoes, green beans and romaine lettuce. I actually think butter lettuce would work better here but I wasn’t able to find it. There’s a good amount of protein in this salad from the eggs & navy beans. There’s also a rich source of good fats from the olives, organic eggs and the quality olive oil used in the dressing.
This salad is a fantastic gluten-free, grain-free and dairy-free option that is definitely substantial enough to work as a main dish.
Vegetarian Niçoise Salad
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp Dijon mustard
sea salt & pepper
4 eggs, hard boiled and halved (see below for how I do mine)
1 pound red skinned or mini potatoes, sliced 1/3 inch thick (approximately 8-10 potatoes)
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 can white navy beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 heart of romaine (or butter lettuce), leaves separated & washed
handful of pitted black olives
2 Tbsp basil, chiffonade
Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, shallot, thyme, Dijon & a touch of sea salt and fresh pepper together. Chill until you’re ready to use it.
To make hard boiled eggs: 1. Place eggs in a pot of cold, salted water (enough to cover the eggs by one inch). 2. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil on max heat. 3. As soon as it comes to a boil take the pot off the heat and let the eggs steep in the water, lid on, for 13 minutes. 3. Transfer eggs with a slotted spoon to another bowl that’s filled with water & ice cubes (ice water bath) and let them cool for exactly 10 minutes. Remove the eggs, carefully peel them and cut them in half. Set aside.
Place sliced potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover them with cold water and season with a bit of sea salt. Bring them to a simmer on medium heat and cook until fork tender. Drain them and transfer to a medium bowl to allow them to cool.
In the meantime, boil your green beans in salted water for 4-5 minutes. Drain and rinse them in cold water.
Assemble your salad. On individual plates divide the salad ingredients: lay down a few leaves of romaine, 2 hard boiled egg halves, a few potatoes, a generous amount of green beans, some grape tomatoes, a few olives, a good amount of navy beans and garnish with the basil. Finally, drizzle the vinaigrette over top and enjoy.