Apparently I’m very much into salads the past few weeks! The idea for this one came out of thinking about a fun menu for a girls’ brunch and something that you could put on a huge platter for everyone to take for themselves. I do love a niçoise salad and thought that with a few tweaks, we could make it a solid brunch salad recipe.
A niçoise salad, originally from Nice, France, often includes tomatoes, eggs, olives, string beans, potatoes and tuna. Since the tomatoes aren’t great this time of year, I used fresh persian cucumbers that have a to-die-for crunch. They feel so fresh! Then, I made breakfast potatoes instead of just boiled potatoes, to really bring that brunch vibe to the plate.
I didn’t like the idea of tuna at a brunch, so smoked salmon is the obvious choice here! I topped the salmon with a bit of the Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning – it totally works for this. Very brunchy vibe.
For the string beans, instead of boiling them, I sauteed them until they had a bit of crispiness to them. There’s something about sauteed green beans with some charring on them that I just love. They’re so different, and in my opinion, better than a boiled string bean.
And then you know, of course, I can’t skip an opportunity to force everyone I love to have pickled onions. Put them on everything. For real.
And now, let’s talk about the eggs that never made it to the salad because I completely forgot. And let me tell you, I prepped this salad, photographed it, served it, the whole time feeling as though I forgot something and not realizing what that thing was…EGGS. How does one forget the eggs for a brunch salad?!
So guys, do as I say not as I do, okay? This would have been so, so much better with a 5 or 6 minute hard boiled egg! You just bring eggs and water to a boil, turn off the heat, pop the lid on and let the eggs sit for 5 or 6 minutes. Then an ice bath and cut them in half! Don’t forget the eggs!
For the dressing, I went with the Trader Joe’s rose balsamic vinaigrette. I do love to make my own, but I’m so into this one right now! I loved the little bit of more delicate flavor with this salad.
This salad is certainly not difficult, but it does take some prep and planning. You’ll want to account for the time you need to make all of the toppings. It’s definitely hands on, so keep everything else you make for brunch simple! I’d make this with the Australian Folded Eggs and the bagel dip that will be posted tomorrow!
Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad
- 4-6 eggs
- pot with water
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 1 lb trimmed string beans or haricourt verts
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb small potatoes
- pot with water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp or more of cayenne
- 2 tsp or more of paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- sliced onion, optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1-2 lb mixed greens, any kind
- 1 12-oz jar pitted kalamata olives
- 10oz smoked salmon
- 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s everything bagel seasoning
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 1/4 c pickled onions, optional
- 1/4-1/2 c dressing of choice
6 Minute Eggs
- Add eggs to pot and fill with water at least 1 inch above the eggs.
- Add baking soda to the pot (helps to peel the eggs).
- Bring to a boil; turn off heat; place lid on the pot and set a timer for 6 minutes.
- After 6 minutes, remove the eggs and immediately place them in an ice and cold water bath, replacing water as necessary until the eggs are no longer warm to the touch.
- Peel and slice in half; set aside.
- Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Add green beans and sautee until bright green; add minced garlic.
- Sautee green beans until you reach desired doneness (I work mine for 15-20 minutes total to get a nice sear on them, I prefer them a bit crispy).
- Par boil whole potatoes until just tender.
- When they are cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes into halves or quarters.
- Melt butter over high heat until sizzling but not brown; add potatoes to the pan.
- Coat the potatoes with the butter; then add the seasoning.
- Sautee until the potatoes get a bit crispy on the outside and reach desired doneness.
To Assemble Salad
- Place greens on the bottom of the platter.
- Arrange toppings around the greens.
- Place dressing on the side, so as to not allow the greens to get soggy from being dressed too early.