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4.5 from 2 votes

Julia Child’s Salad Nicoise

Excerpted from The Way to Cook by Julia Child. Copyright © 1989 by Julia Child. Reprinted with permission from the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Author: Samantha Ferraro


  • 1 head of Boston Lettuce large, washed and dried (I used Butter lettuce)
  • 1 cup fresh green beans trimmed, blanched
  • 3 or 4 fine rip red tomatoes quartered and seasoned before serving (I used cherry tomatoes)
  • 8 to 10 ounces oil-packed tuna drained and flaked
  • 2 cups French potato salad recipe follows
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs halved lengthwise
  • 2-3 flat anchovy filets packed in oil
  • 1/2 cup black Nicoise-type olives
  • 3 or 4 Tbs. capers
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper to taste

French Potato Salad

  • 5-6 white potatoes cooked to fork tender
  • 1-2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 Tb white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flat leaf parsley chopped

Vinaigrette (makes about 1/2 cup)

  • 1-2 Tb red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • First make the vinaigrette. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl until blended and emulsified. (or my trick is to shake in a mason jar).
  • Shortly before serving, line a large, wide salad bowl or a roomy platter with lettuce leaves, drizzle a little olive oil on them, and dust with a sprinkling of salt.
  • Toss the green beans in a mixing bowl with a little olive oil and salt.
  • Drizzle a spoonful or two of the dressing over the tomatoes.
  • Season the tuna lightly with a spoonful or two of dressing.

To make the French Potato Salad:

  • Boil potatoes to fork tender.
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes and slice potatoes. Dress the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 Tb of wine vinegar and chopped parsley.
  • Place the potatoes in the center of the bowl or platter; mound the beans, the tomatoes and tuna.
  • Ring the salad with the eggs and anchovy.
  • Spoon a little more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley. Serve as soon as possible.