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Tuna Nicoise Salad

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

Let Your Friends Try This Recipe!

Why we love it:

One of the best things about this salad is that it can be served at any temperature from cold to hot. Another great thing, there’s no lettuce and a ton of hearty components. The dressing is creamy, but yogurt based (aka healthy). And the tuna comes from a can, so you open it and done. Bring this as a platter to your next potluck and bring home the compliments.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Red Skinned Potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 12 pound Green Beans
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatos
  • 1 can Canned Albacore Tuna (typically a can is 5 ounces, look for solid white albacore in water or olive oil)
  • 1 cup Nicoise Olives
  • 12 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • 12 bunch Tarragon
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. POTATOES

    Wash the potatoes and cut them in ½. They should be about 1 - 1.5” inches in diameter and fairly even. If they’re bigger than that, cut them in quarters.

    Place them in a small pot, then cover by 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Turn the heat on high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to medium and cook potatoes for about 16 minutes. You can keep them partially covered as needed to gently boil during this time.

  • 2. EGGS

    Place the eggs in another small pot and just barely cover with water. Cover and bring them to a boil over high heat. As soon as it’s boiling, cover tightly and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 13 minutes.

  • 3. GREEN BEANS

    Trim the woody, stem end of the green beans. Set aside until the potatoes have cooked for the first 16 minutes - and make sure they feel tender but not falling apart. Once that time has passed, add the green beans to the pot. Boil together for 5 minutes. Then drain the pot and run under cold water for 1 minutes. Drain while you finish everything else.

  • 4. TOMATOES + TUNA

    Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes into wedges.

    Open and drain the can of tuna.

    Slice olives in ½ or not. Be sure they have the pits removed, though.

  • 5. DRESSING

    In a small bowl, add the yogurt, mayo, dijon, and the zest and juice of the lemon. Whisk to combine. Finely chop most of the tarragon, reserving a few long leaves for garnish. Add it. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt and the black pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil.

  • 6. FINISH

    When the eggs are done, drain the water and run under cold water. Gently crack the shells and let them cool down in the water. When you can handle them, remove the shells. Then slice each egg in half or quarters.

  • 7. SERVING

    You can either toss everything with dressing in a large bowl or plate the portions evenly and serve the dressing on the side.

    Flake the tuna into large chunks with a fork. We love this salad served warm/room temperature as you’re just cooking it. But, if you’ve prepared the ingredients in advance, it’s also great cold. Do let it sit out for at least 10 minutes though, before serving so nothing is noticeably cold.

    Garnish with tarragon leaves.

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Substitutions

  • DAIRY FREE:
    make dressing in the blender but use almond based yogurt or cashew cream. Add 1 ripe avocado. Or, simply use an oil and vinegar style vinaigrette of your preference
  • PALEO:
    use sweet potato rounds, roasted squash, or cauliflower florets. Consider doubling the tuna or the egg portion
  • TUNA:
    fresh ahi or albacore tuna either seared or poached is a nice way to fancify and put a twist on the dish
  • POTATOES:
    baby yukon gold, or larger thin skinned potatoes are ok. If removing them all together, sweet potato rounds will taste great but be untraditional
  • FISH:
    if you don’t like tuna, seared halibut, black cod, cod, or even a filet of sole would be nice. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and perhaps a smear of dijon
  • NICOISE:
    these olives are obviously named after the dish but they can be hard to find. Kalamata, Castelvetrano, or other olives would all be just fine
  • MAYO:
    omit if you don’t like it. Consider substituting sour cream. Or perhaps stir in 1 teaspoon of miso for flavor. Or, put the ingredients in a blender and add 1 avocado
  • TARRAGON:
    basil, cilantro, parsley, or chives

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Here’s another simple deconstruction method - serve components that your kids like or can try in separate piles
  • Potatoes might be an easier sell if they’re roasted - bake with a drizzle of oil and salt at 425 for about 30 minutes or until they’re tender inside but crisp and golden. Everyone can have roasted potatoes with their salad. OR mashed - boil and mash the potatoes, adding butter, sour cream, or olive oil and a pinch of salt
  • My kids like cherry tomatoes but not sliced tomatoes so make that sub if yours are the same
  • If tuna salad is happening in your house, make tuna salad rather than flaked tuna
  • If canned tuna isn’t popular, sub out for a filet of tuna, salmon or white fish

For Toddlers

  • Mash the potatoes
  • Leave green beans long for crunching on or cut into small rounds so they’re easier to eat

For Choosy Eaters

  • Do they prefer fried or scrambled eggs? You can make that change
  • Serve salad with bread and butter, or peanut butter
  • Swap or add to green beans if they’re more accepting of another veggie
  • If something like hummus or ranch is a win, serve that as dressing for dipping
  • Leave more new to them items or upsetting items off their plate and just encourage them to try one new thing
  • If fish isn’t going to happen at all - get chicken cutlets or chicken thighs and sear or roast them to go on the side, sausages would also be an easy and tasty addition

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Boil potatoes 
  2. Make dressing
  3. Hard boil eggs – you can store them for 3 days peeled and up to a week in the shell
  4. Trim green beans
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