Eat the rainbow with a summer salade Niçoise

Try this recipe to incorporate the bounty of summer.

Eat the rainbow with a summer salade Niçoise

As the weather warms into summer, we lean toward lighter foods with bountiful summer produce. A salad is the perfect way to incorporate a greater quantity and variety of plant-based foods into our routine.

The classic French “salade Niçoise” is a delicious example and makes it easy to eat the rainbow with a variety of colorful produce. This salad looks fancy but is very simple to make. 

If your summer plans call for an active day, it’s easy to bring this salad on a picnic. Just pack each component separately, then plate on arrival. 

For a plant-based version, omit the eggs, anchovies, and tuna, and substitute garlic-marinated chickpeas, as described in the recipe. 

Serve with a crusty whole-grain baguette. Bon appétit!

Servings: 6

Prep time: 40 minutes


  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 pound small new potatoes, boiled until tender, 13 to 15 minutes
  • 8 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed and blanched
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 12 black Niçoise or Kalamata olives
  • 8 small radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 6 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans high-quality oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1/2 small head radicchio, sliced into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)


1. Make the dressing. Start by making garlic paste by sprinkling minced garlic with a pinch of salt, then use the edge of a chef’s knife to mash into a paste. 

2. In a jar, combine garlic paste, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, tarragon, and pepper to taste. Shake until well combined.

3. Boil the eggs. My foolproof method for cooking a hard-boiled egg that’s easy to peel and has a perfectly yellow yolk: Place room-temperature eggs in a pot with enough cold water to cover them about an inch, bring water to a boil over high heat, then remove the pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes exactly. After 10 minutes, drain hot water and replace it with cold or ice water to stop the cooking process, then let cool completely before peeling and slicing in half lengthwise.

4. If making a plant-based salad, marinate chickpeas with minced garlic, olive oil, and salt for at least 10 minutes.

5. Toss potatoes and haricots verts with enough vinaigrette to coat.

4. Arrange all components beautifully on a platter, placing contrasting colors next to each other. Drizzle additional vinaigrette over the entire salad and finish with a few grinds of pepper.

Plant-based variation: 

Omit eggs, anchovies, and tuna, and add garlic-marinated chickpeas

1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 287
  • Total fat: 20 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Cholesterol: 131 milligrams
  • Sodium: 442 milligrams
  • Total carbohydrate: 17 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 4 grams
  • Total sugars: 4 grams
  • Added sugars: 0 grams
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Potassium: 659 milligrams

Plant-based variation:

Calories: 240
Total Fat: 15 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 174 milligrams
Total Carbohydrate: 25 grams
Dietary Fiber: 6 grams
Total Sugar: 7 grams
Added Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Potassium: 633 milligrams

Adapted from Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy With Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes, by Linda Shiue, MD.