Mains | Salads

Niçoise Salad with Seared Tuna

by Julianne De Witt

April 29, 2023

A good Niçoise salad never disappoints. Simply to prepare, so delicious and beautiful on the plate. It’s a real show stopper!

Salade Niçoise originated in the Provence region of France. Traditionally made with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, Niçoise olives, anchovies, and dressed with olive oil, it more commonly includes tuna, green beans, lettuce and potatoes. It became popular in the United States in the 1920s when French chef Jean Orsi introduced the Niçoise salad at his restaurant in San Francisco.

In my version I use:

  • tuna loin, seared quickly over high heat, served rare and seasoned with just a little salt and pepper.
  • pitted kalamata olives – they are a little easier to source than Niçoise olives.
  • baby new potatoes – kept whole if they are the tiny variety or halved if larger.
  • French beans – I like to use these because they are smaller and lend themselves nicely to this salad but substitute green beans if you prefer.
  • hardboiled eggs – a must with this salad.
  • a light vinaigrette made with olive oil, white wine vinegar, shallots, Dijon and thyme.


To save time, cook the potatoes and beans together.  When the potatoes are almost fork tender, add the beans to the water. When the beans are tender crisp, place the beans and potatoes in a colander under cold water to cool down.

For perfect hard boiled eggs without the grey ring, add the eggs to a saucepan and cover with water. Turn the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and let sit for 10 minutes. Run eggs under cold water then peel. Older eggs will be easier to peel.

To sear the tuna you will need an oil with a high smoke point such as avocado or vegetable oil. Heat the oil in the pan until it’s very hot then add the tuna. Sear on all sides until lightly browned but still rare in the middle.

This salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner. Be sure to enjoy it with a glass of French rosé. Enjoy!

Niçoise Salad with Seared tuna

My take on this traditional, elegant French salad. Seared tuna with greens, potatoes, hard boiled eggs and olives in a light white wine vinaigrette. Delicious!
Servings: 4



  • 3/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 8 cups baby salad greens
  • 2 cups new potatoes sliced in half
  • 4 hard boiled eggs peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 lb french beans ends trimmed

Seared Tuna

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb tuna loin
  • salt and pepper to taste



  • In a small glass jar add all ingredients, place lid on jar and shake to combine. Double check seasoning and adjust if needed.


  • Add potatoes to a large saucepan with water and bring to a light boil. Cook until just fork tender. Add green beans to pot and cook until tender crisp. Drain potatoes and beans and run under a little cold water to cool down. Set aside until room temperature.
  • Add greens to a large platter. Arrange beans, eggs, olives, tomatoes and potatoes on top of greens leaving an area in the middle for the tuna.

Seared Tuna

  • Add avocado oil to sauce pan over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the tuna to the pan. Sear for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes per side until lightly browned and cooked to your liking. Remove tuna and slice to 1/3" with a serrated knife. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tuna to top of salad and serve with vinaigrette. Enjoy!


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