Raise your hand if you like salad. Raise your hand if you think that salad can get boring after a while. I am in total agreement.
Salad is the best way to make sure that you get in your servings of vegetables each day, but plain lettuce topped with tomato and cucumber can be uninspired at times. So if I’m craving salad, I look to other cultures to see how they serve up their vegetables for some ideas.
My favorite salad inspiration comes from France and their famous salad niçoise. It is a salad that actually has a base of thin French green beans called haricot vert instead of lettuce and is topped with lots of delicious things like potatoes, tuna, olives, and capers. It is a delicious and creative spin on the workday lunch staple.
I love to make salad niçoise the day after I have a big dinner with roasted potatoes – it saves time in the morning when I’m throwing this together before work (because no one wants to roast potatoes at 6am). While this salad is traditionally served with canned tuna in olive oil, I went for a total leftovers approach and used leftover salmon from my dinner last night–but regular canned tuna works too!
This take on a French classic starts with a bed of some baby arugula. Traditional salad niçoise usually doesn’t have lettuce in it, but I really like having something that the rest of the salad ingredients can lay upon. Plus the peppery arugula adds a little zip to the finished salad.
Then comes the star of the show–the green beans! I used some defrosted some frozen thin green beans (haricot vert) that I toasted for a few minutes in a skillet until they were slightly crisp. And then I piled them on one part of the plate.
Then I tossed on some roasted potatoes (leftover from the night before and also toasted in a skillet until warm). Potatoes and green beans are the two ingredients that make salad niçoise what it is!
Finally, we get to the fish component of the salad. It is traditionally served with tuna but since I had some leftover salmon, I used that instead. If you don’t like salmon or don’t have any in your fridge, regular canned tuna works well here too.
The final addition to salad niçoise is a perfect hard-boiled egg. I like to cut mine into quarters and sprinkle it with some salt and pepper. This is definitely one protein-packed lunch.
All the salad needs is a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. And then it’s time to eat. Pretty, protein-packed, delicious, and definitely not boring!
Check out more of Catherine’s delicious recipes by visiting Simply A (RD) Foodie and come back here every Friday for new recipes!
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 11/2 cups haricot vert (thin green beans), either raw or defrosted and heated in a skillet until just crisp (about 3-4 minutes)
- 1/2-3/4 cup diced leftover roasted potato, heated in a skillet until just crisp and warmed through (about 3-4 minutes)
- 3 oz leftover broiled salmon, flaked into large chunks
- 1 hard-boiled egg, quartered and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought
- Place arugula in the center of a dinner plate, making a bed for the remaining salad ingredients to rest on.
- Then, one by one, layer each ingredient onto the arugula in a stripe pattern (one stripe of green beans, one stripe of potatoes, etc.).
- Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the salad. Serve immediately and enjoy!
450 calories | 40gm carbohydrates | 9gm fiber | 34gm protein | 18gm fat | 4gm saturated fat | 991mg sodium | 266mg cholesterol | 4mg iron | 202mg calcium