I truly am the worst blogger in the world. Hello! Here I am. Summer is here and all the beautiful vegetables have me inspired to share recipes again. I find the trick to cooking in the summer is minimal effort, turning on the oven as little as possible, and letting the produce really shine on it’s own. Composed salads are my favourite easy dinner – especially when I can ‘fridge dive’ for some leftovers in need of repurposing.

I love a salade niçoise, and I set out to make an easy breezy summer-y vegetarian version with minimal clean up. To keep this streamlined, I have you cook pretty much everything in the same pot of boiling water. No oven, one pot, but still a dish that really showcases the lovely produce this time of year. If you already had some steamed vegetables or boiled potatoes, this would be even easier! Check out the notes below for different variations (including with fish, and vegan).

summer vegetarian nicoise-ish salad

The dressing comes from a version in Julia Turshen’s Small Victories.

Serves 4-6 people

  • New/baby potatoes – about 300 grams
  • French green beans (haricots verts) or whatever string beans you have, tips trimmed – about 300 grams
  • 1 cup cooked French lentils (I used these, gifted from Flourist)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of radishes, sliced
  • Half a shallot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup olives (ideally niçoise olives)

Creamy mustard dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Fill a big pasta pot with well salted water. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice and water to make an ice bath. Put a colander in the sink.
  2. Once the water has reached a rolling bowl, add the green beans to the water. Cook for 2 minutes until they have reached a nice green colour. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove them from the water, and place directly in the ice bath. Once cooled, remove from ice bath and dry. Replenish ice bath with more ice and water.
  3. Cook the eggs: using the slotted spoon, lower the eggs one at a time into the boiling water. Turn the heat down slightly so the boil is not too aggressive and boil for 7 minutes. As soon as timer goes off, use slotted spoon to place eggs directly into the ice bath. Once cooled, remove from ice bath, peel and halve. The yolks should be perfectly jammy!
  4. Now cook the potatoes. Add them to the same pot of still boiling water, cook for approximately 15 minutes or until a knife slides through nicely. Strain in a colander and run under cold water so they’re room temperature.
  5. Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together, or shaking in a glass mason jar.
  6. Assemble the salad on a platter, grouping ingredients together. Season everything with salt and pepper. Either drizzle with dressing or let everyone help themselves.

Variations:

  • If you’re not vegetarian – add tuna (seared steaks, thinly sliced or canned), smoked trout, grilled salmon or anchovies
  • If you’re vegan – leave out the eggs and mayo in the dressing
  • Use whatever vegetables you want, and any quantity you prefer – I added a handful of peas because I had them, add sliced cucumber, artichoke hearts….
  • For more brine-y flavour add capers or sliced pickles.
  • Add a handful of chopped fresh herbs like dill, parsley, and tarragon.