Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing
A riff on the French classic, this composed salad is an absolute riot of flavors, textures, and colors.Jenny Huang

Inspired by the famed dish from Nice, France, this composed salad features olive oil-slicked fish, crispy haricots verts, briny olives, and a pungent vinaigrette laced with anchovies and fresh herbs. It also uses a combination of lightly cooked and raw ingredients for satisfying contrast in color, taste, and texture. Choose a wider pot from which it would be easier to spoon out the ingredients as they finish cooking.

Equipment

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing
This fresh take on the classic dish from Nice, France does away with the lettuce and pairs succulent wild salmon instead of tuna with crisp vegetables, briny olives, and an umami-packed vinaigrette made with garlic, anchovies, basil, and scallions.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 30 minutes

For the dressing:

  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 oil-cured anchovy fillets
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

For the salad:

  • Ice
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. new potatoes (about 20), any color or a mix
  • 5 large eggs
  • 5 oz. haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1 skin-on wild salmon fillet, such as coho or Alaskan (10 oz.)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ large English cucumber (6 oz.), peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp. whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup mixed olives, such as niçoise and Lucques
  • ½ bunch radishes (3 oz.), quartered
  • ½ avocado, thinly sliced
  • Crème fraîche, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing: In a food processor, add the scallions, oil, basil, anchovies, garlic, and salt; purée until almost smooth. Add the vinegar and pulse until just combined.
  2. Make the salad: Set a large bowl of ice water by the stove. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add the potatoes and cook until they are fully tender when poked in the center with a paring knife but the skins are still intact, about 14 minutes. Meanwhile, cook a few other ingredients in the same pot of boiling water: Gently add the eggs to avoid cracking, and cook exactly 7 minutes for slightly runny yolks or 9 minutes for just-set yolks. Transfer the eggs to the ice bath and let cool completely, then dry and refrigerate. Add the haricots verts and cook for 45 seconds. Immediately transfer to the ice bath with a spider skimmer or tongs and let cool completely, then dry, transfer to a medium bowl, and refrigerate. When the potatoes are done, transfer to a separate medium bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Finally, add the salmon to the boiling water and cook until just cooked through, 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside.
  3. Once the eggs are fully chilled, peel and discard the shells. Using your fingers, break the eggs in half crosswise and transfer to a large serving platter, yolk-sides up. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cucumber in a small bowl. Retrieve the bowls with the haricots verts and potatoes. Drizzle all three bowls very lightly with oil and sprinkle each with a pinch of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Add the mustard to the bowl with the potatoes and stir to incorporate.
  5. Assemble the salad on the platter with the eggs, piling the potatoes, haricots verts, cucumbers, olives, radishes, and avocado next to one another on the plate (they should touch and can overlap slightly). Break up the salmon into bite-size chunks and add to the platter. Spoon some of the dressing over the top of the salad, to taste. Add a dollop of crème fraîche to the platter (if desired) and serve immediately.