Healthy Recipe: French Lentil Niçoise Salad with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette
Classic Salad Niçoise originated from the French city of Nice. It traditionally consists of anchovies, tuna, and the vegetables included below. This vegetarian version offers all the delicious flavors of the original, with an extra boost of protein and fiber from the lentils. Made quickly in one pot of boiling water, this dish looks impressive but comes together in a flash. Feel free to swap in whatever vegetables are in season where you live. While not traditional, grilled zucchini or asparagus would be a delicious addition, as would come charred corn kernels or peppery fresh arugula.
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups small potatoes (the tiniest ones you can find!)
- 2 handfuls haricot verts (or green beans if you can’t find them)
- 2 cups cooked French lentils
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium size shallot, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional Garnishes: olives, capers, anchovies, microgreens, fresh herbs
- Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil. Season generously with salt.
- Cook the eggs first. Boil them for 6 minutes for a runny, soft set yolk with firm whites, 7 minutes for a slightly firmer yolk that’s still unctuous, and 8 or 9 minutes if you like them really hard boiled. Remove the eggs and set on the counter while you cook the remaining ingredients in the same boiling water.
- To cook the potatoes, boil for 8-12 minutes, depending on size, until knife tender. Remove from the water, and set aside. Cut in half once cooled slightly.
- To cook the haricot verts, boil for 1-2 minutes, until just crisp tender. Remove and rinse under cold water immediately to keep them crisp.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the diced shallot, olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, Dijon, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- While the potatoes are still warm, dress them with a bit of the vinaigrette. Dress the haricot verts and the lentils with a bit of vinaigrette as well, keeping all components separate.
- To serve, plate the lentils in the center of a large platter. Arrange the potatoes, haricot verts, and tomatoes separately around the lentils. Peel the eggs, half them, and place them on the platter. Add the halved tomatoes, and sprinkle them and the halved eggs with a bit of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over any other garnishes you might be using, drizzle everything with any extra vinaigrette, and enjoy!
Note: This recipe keeps well and makes delicious leftovers.