Salad Niçoise

Serve this salad with a bowl of tomato soup and some crusty French bread on the side for a complete meal. If you’re feeling particularly fancy and don’t mind spending a bit extra, try making this with ventresca tuna. Ventresca comes from the belly of the tuna, that velvety chunk known in sushi bars as toro. It has deep, buttery, complex flavors and a creamy texture all on its own. You’ll find it sold either in jars or cans (typically packed in olive oil) in upscale grocery stores or through online vendors such as Amazon and La Tienda.

When it comes to using ventresca in a recipe, the less you do to it, the better, so skip tossing the tuna in the vinaigrette if you opt to use the expensive stuff in this recipe. In fact, I’d recommend reducing the dressing by at least a third, so you don’t overpower the flavor of the ventresca. If you really feel you need that extra umami kick for the tomatoes, capers, olives, I recommend sneaking in a teaspoon of anchovy paste into the vinaigrette in place of the tuna.


  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 cup pitted Niçoise or Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) package mixed baby greens
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)

Prepare in Advance:

Place potatoes in a medium pot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer until tender. Drain potatoes and cool slightly, then cut in half.

Meanwhile, cook green beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, then rinse under cold running water.


Put tuna, 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette, olives, tomatoes and capers into a large bowl and toss gently. Place a generous handful of greens on each of 4 plates, then arrange potatoes, eggs and green beans on plates. Top with the dressed tuna mixture, then drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup vinaigrette. Garnish with parsley and serve.