Niçoise salad with grilled vegetables and basil-mustard vinaigrette

Nicoise salad with grilled vegetables and basil-mustard vinaigrette

When a salad graduates from an afterthought to a showpiece, chances are you’re talking Salade Niçoise. Packed with flavor, it’s a light but complete meal that also sticks to your ribs. It’s perhaps my favorite dish to have on hot days.

Here I take the classic Provençal dish and serve it with grilled vegetables and a basil vinaigrette – all in celebration of summer’s exuberant flavors. I’ll even recommend you make extra vinaigrette, because it’s almost impossible not to dip a crusty slice of bread in it!

On a side note, although my Niçoise is fishless, grilled tuna steak would be a great addition to it… Bon Appétit!

Food & wine pairing: Burgundy, Pinot Noir with Niçoise salad

Red wine iconThis salad is one that can surely stand up to a red wine! Try a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, a Sangiovese from Chianti, a Bardolino from Veneto, a Gamay from Beaujolais or even a Rioja Crianza from Rioja. The grilled vegetables and the spunky vinaigrette would pair well with these light reds. In the warm months, make sure to serve your wine slightly chilled: 60°F (16°C) would be ideal.

Haricots verts - Green beans

Niçoise salad with grilled vegetables and basil-mustard vinaigrette

serves 4 to 6
active time: 50 min

For the vinaigrette

  1. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  3. 1 shallot – skinned and quartered
  4. 12 large leaves fresh basil
  5. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  7. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the grilled vegetables

  1. 4 baby eggplants (cut in 1/4″ slices lengthwise)
  2. 1 medium red onion – peeled and cut in 1/2″ slices through the root end so slices stay attached together
  3. 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  4. 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. sea salt to taste
  6. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the salad

  1. 1 large handful baby arugula (3 oz) (85 g) – rinsed and spun dry
  2. 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) baby red potatoes – unpeeled, boiled until tender and halved
  3. 8 oz (225 g) haricots verts – stem ends trimmed and left whole
  4. 2 ripe medium tomatoes – cut in 1/2″ slices
  5. 4 to 6 hard boiled eggs – peeled and halved
  6. 1/2 cup Niçoise olives
  7. 1/3 cup large caper berries – drained

  1. Step 1: To make the vinaigrette – Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until the basil is finely chopped and the vinaigrette well blended. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Step 2: To grill the vegetables – Preheat gas grill to high or prepare charcoal grill. Lightly brush the eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and grill until grill marks appear on all sides. Transfer to a tray and set aside.
  3. Step 3: For the onions – Place the onion slices in a bowl. Add the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Toss carefully, taking care not to break the slices apart, and transfer to a perforated stainless steel pan. Grill until charred. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Step 4: To assemble the salad – Spread the baby arugula on a large serving platter. Top with the grilled eggplant, grilled onions, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, eggs, olives and caper berries. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side.

Nicoise salad with grilled vegetables and basil-mustard vinaigrette

salads, Nicoise, grilled vegetables

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  • Reply Debbie @ healthy eating plan January 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Very refreshing and yummy to look at. Hope to try this. Thank for this recipe.

    More Power &

    • Reply Viviane January 14, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Thank you so much Debbie… Enjoy!

  • Reply Julia Burke July 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    What a gorgeous salad. I love these hearty summer salads with grilled vegetables; I think I’ll try this over the weekend! Thanks for the inspiration as always!

  • Reply Pretty. Good. Food. September 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂 Thanks!

  • Reply StreamingGourmet (Amy) August 13, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I made this Salade Nicoise! It was divine (as usual, Viviane)!

  • Reply Steve July 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I love a good nicoise salad, I tend to use salmon being west coast as it’s easy to come by.

  • Reply Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) July 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I always enjoy seeing the different takes on the Niçoise salad, this looks quite refreshing.

  • Reply Cristina - TeenieCakes July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I luv grilled vegetables and then including them in a salad is just lovely. A gorgeous salad…and I very much like your ingredient combination for the vinaigrette.

  • Reply Samantha @ The Savvy Soybean July 20, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Your photos are fantastic! I love nicoise salad, and this one is no exception. I just purchased a cast-iron grill myself and I’ve been grilling veggies nonstop. The flavor is so good!

  • Reply Cookin' Canuck July 20, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Lovely idea to make the nicoise salad with grilled veggies. The vinaigrette sounds as though it could live another day on many other salads.

  • Reply Brian @ A Thought For Food July 20, 2010 at 10:00 am

    The first thing I had when I went to France last year was nicoise salad. It really is one of my favorite meals… eating it outside with a glass of wine. Just thinking about it relaxes me.

  • Reply lisaiscooking July 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Nicoise salad is my favorite thing this summer. I could enjoy it daily with or without fish, and your basil vinaigrette sounds fantastic! Love the grilled vegetables too.

  • Reply Kristi Rimkus July 20, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I love the fresh look of this dish. I’m having a dear friend over for lunch on Friday. This looks like the perfect meal to serve. Thanks!

  • Reply jay July 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Oh, Mama! This looks so good!

  • Reply Dan@BasilBasics July 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Your Salade Nicoise looks absolutely wondeful. I must try your wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Chris July 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

    What a lovely presentation, one of the prettiest Niçoise I have seen.

  • Reply Meghan@traveleatlove July 17, 2010 at 9:01 am

    This is such an elegant salad, and yes it would actually fill me up! A perfect way to let the flavors of summer speak for themselves.

  • Reply El July 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    This is beautiful. I love nicoise salad but have always had it plain. I can’t wait to try your delicious vinaigrette. Delicious!

  • Leave a Reply to El Cancel Reply