Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Simple Niçoise Salad

Most people opt for massive amounts of junk food and caffeine when preparing for their finals. I used to do the same thing and then I learned the hard way that the combination of lack of sleep, lack of motion, hard-to-digest food, and caffeine was a very, very bad combination, in more ways than one. If you have experienced the same disgusting feeling that I have, give your body a break, and here are some tips:

1. Instead of coffee or energy drinks, opt for tea. My favorite tea of choice is Jasmine Green Tea. Mmm so good with Mango flavored syrup added!
2. Skip the chips, pizza, and fried chicken and go for salads (such as below), fruit, and popcorn (because you'll want something to munch on).
3. Try and walk around every once in a while because sitting in a chair for 10 hours straight can be painful, especially to your bum...
4. OHH and lots and lots of water!

Overall, I really enjoyed this salad. It kept my brain stimulated because as you know, tuna or any type of fish is brain food and all of the veggies didn't leave me with an overburdened stomach or a feeling of "blahness" as most other foods would have. It also kept me satisfied for a long time so I didn't have to bother my study-time with breaks for snacks. And don't let me forget to mention that is was also marvelously delicious. It was simple and tangy and everything that a Niçoise salad should be.

Niçoise Salad:
Yields: Enough for 3-4

For the Salad:
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 -5 red new potatoes
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
1 can of albacore tuna in water
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 heads of romaine lettuce, or any other variety
3 large plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 large eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced

For the dressing:
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt 
freshly ground pepper

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, salt, and a pinch of pepper. Whisking constantly, stream in the olive oil until the dressing is thick and creamy. Add the sliced red onion to let in marinate in the dressing. Take a large pot and fill about half way with water and boil. After it has come to a rolling boil, add some salt and the potatoes. Cook until fork tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Transfer potatoes into a bowl.  DO NOT DISCARD WATER! Once cool, dice the potatoes into inch cubes. Season with salt, pepper and other spices of your choice (I used paprika). Set aside. Add the trimmed green beans into the boiling water (that was used for the potatoes). Cover and cook until tender, about 4 - 6 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Break up the tuna into a small bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice (to taste), and season with salt and pepper. Tear the lettuce into pieces. Arrange on a plate with the seasoned potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, marinated onions, green beans, and tuna. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

Optional: Traditionally Niçoise Salad is also served with a tin of anchovies and kalamata olives but I did not have any on hand. You can also substitute in capers for the olives if preferred. 


  1. Simple but great recipe! This was a good encouragement for me - I'm about to get really busy with studying for exams, and reading again how simple a healthy meal is, this is definitely what I'll be making for food instead of bad stuff! Thanks!

  2. It's great how you found the motivation to do that. When I'm in the studying mode, I feel as if I can't dilly dally and just buy a bunch of junk food ahead of time just to fill my stomach. But I do agree with you - it does make you feel sickly! Oh the horrors of cramming...

  3. i absolutely ♥ niçoise salad!!
    one of my most favorite salads. i had it once in paris and it was amazing! i'll be trying your recipe soon. :)