Today’s recipe is for Salmon Nicoise with hard boiled eggs, green beans, olives, potatoes and radishes. The salmon is baked smothered in pesto, then set on top of each salad.
I originally shared this Salmon Nicoise on March 31, 2015. I have updated the images, text and added a video to share it again with you today.
I love me a big salad. And Salad Niçoise has always been my favorite big salad. I think part of it is that my mom used to make them for Jessie and me when we were girls. She’d boil the eggs and potatoes, and top each salad with canned tuna, good olives and green beans.
I love the way she took her time to compose the individual plates of salad nicoise so beautifully. Each one was a work of art. I always chose a sun dried tomato vinaigrette Mom kept on hand. Each bite was a different texture and taste.
I’ve been thinking about them lately, as the daylight hours have been stretching out. (Isn’t the sunshine like medicine!!) I’m transitioning into that part of the year when I start naturally leaning out my meals for the summer ahead. This isn’t something I do consciously; I just sort of want to do it. I make big salads for dinner a few nights a week.
Add to that, May is National Salad Month, so I am all about the salads here on Healthy Seasonal Recipes right now. You can scroll through the Salad Month archives here. This is a tradition I’ve been keeping up with for five years!
How to Make Salmon Nicoise
Choose Your Base: Because lettuce and salad greens are in season right now, you can choose whatever variety are available locally. Many farms here in Vermont have hoop houses, and you can find local spinach, tatsoi and misuna to name a few. Here I used mixed spring greens, and they held up fine under the weight of the toppings. You can read more about different lettuces here.
Add Pesto for Dimensional Flavor: In addition to the flavor of the nicoise dressing, these Salmon Nicoise also get a boost of flavor from pesto. Though basil is not a traditional spring ingredient, nor pesto a traditional Nicoise flavor, I really love the way it boosts the savory aspects of this recipe.
I made my pesto from scratch because I happened to have some locally grown hydroponic basil on hand. (If you have pesto in your freezer that works great too. Or you can always use store-bought. If you avoid Dairy, you can make this dairy-free Whole 30 Pesto instead. ) I removed the skin from the salmon, slathered it in the pesto then baked it. I also tossed the potatoes with the pesto.
Top with Green Beans: I added a pile of steamed green beans to each salad. I have made this in the past with edamame. Other great springtime alternatives the green beans would be asparagus or fiddlehead ferns! Mix it up!
Hard Boil the Eggs: Here’s how I hard boil eggs. Place the eggs in the bottom of a small saucepan and cover them with cold water by an inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Drain off the hot water then run cool water over the eggs until they’re cool enough to peel.
Make Nicoise Dressing From Scratch: Making nicoise dressing with capers and garlic makes a huge impact on the overall flavor of the dish. Capers are a traditional accompaniment to salad nicoise, and the flavor of the garlic really goes well with the veggies.
Can You Make This Recipe in Advance?
Yes you can but they must be served chilled. The only thing you have to remember is to allow the hot ingredients to cool completely before assembling the salads. This way the greens will not wilt from the heat of the salmon, potatoes or green beans. You can build the salads up to 24 hours in advance. After they are assembled, cover and refrigerate them. Drizzle with the dressing right before serving.
More Healthy Entree Salad Recipes to Try This Month
Don’t miss the Healthy Taco Salad I shared last week. It’s much lower in calories than restaurant taco salads, but still has tons of crunchy tortilla strips and juicy flavorful chicken.
This Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs recipe has been a reader favorite for years, and my family loves it every time I make it. We had it last week with crispy skin chicken and it was a clean plate club night!
While asparagus is in season, try this Roasted Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad. It’s vegetarian!
Do you naturally start making lighter meals at this time of year?
What kind of big salads do you like?
Salmon Niçoise Salad made with salmon baked with pesto on top. Green beans, hard-boiled eggs and cooked potatoes make it a satisfying and updated twist on the classic composed salad
6 small thin-skinned potatoes, about ¾ lb.
4 3 to 4-ounce portions sustainably sourced salmon, skin removed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 tablespoons pesto, divided
8 cups clean salad greens, such as spinach, mesclun greens or green leaf lettuce
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
2 cups green beans, trimmed
½ cup sliced radishes
½ cup nicoise salad dressing
Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray.
- Cover potatoes generously with cold water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium (or to maintain a simmer) and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool on cutting board.
- Meanwhile sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt all over salmon. Place the salmon, skinned side down on the foil, and spread 2 tablespoons pesto over them, dividing evenly. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the salmon is just cooked through and flakes apart when tested with a knife, 8 to 12 minutes depending on thickness of the salmon.
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Steam green beans until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain
- Cut the potatoes into quarters. Toss with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons pesto in a medium bowl.
- Divide the greens among 4 large plates. Arrange eggs, radishes, olives, the potatoes, the salmon and the green beans over the greens dividing evenly. Drizzle with dressing and season with pepper.
You can sub 1 cup shelled edamame for the green beans if you prefer.
*Tip – To hard boil eggs: Place eggs in the bottom of a small saucepan, cover with cold water by several inches. Bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain, run cool water over the eggs until cool enough to peel.
To Make this recipe Whole30 compliant, Paleo and dairy free, use this whole30 pesto.
- Serving Size: 1 salad
- Calories: 510
- Sugar: 5
- Fat: 30
- Saturated Fat: 3
- Unsaturated Fat: 3
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 21
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 32