Springtime Lobster Niçoise Salad with Tarragon

Hello May!

The crocuses in our yard opened up this week and the tulip have pushed up next to them. It’s wonderfully exciting to watch spring creep over our new little homestead and it seems as though there are discoveries to be made after every warm rainstorm.

I’m channeling spring in the Simple Bites kitchen as well, and this Lobster Niçoise Salad is a perfect example. We enjoyed it over the Easter long weekend paired with a platter of lamb and lentils for a surf ‘n turf feast with friends.

I’f you don’t have a basic Salade Niçoise in your culinary repertoire, then please adopt my recipe and make it yours. It’s such a versatile salad and so well suited to spring greens.

The Foundations of a Niçoise Salad

The Niçoise is a salad you can start making in the spring, heaped with asparagus and baby lettuce, and carry on right through the summer, piling on those homegrown cherry tomatoes and fresh tarragon. I take my liberties with the ingredients, however if you are looking to compose a classic Niçoise, here’s what you will need.

  • Green beans – ideally haricots verts, the thin French string bean.
  • Boiled new potatoes – I always use red, but any will do
  • Tuna, generally oil-packed and the best quality
  • Tomatoes – cherries look so pretty
  • Butter lettuce – Boston or Bibb
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Olives, capers & anchovies
  • Fresh tarragon

Of course you’ll see many variations on this salad, in the same way a kale Ceasar salad exists – recipes like these merely inspire us in the kitchen.

I topped my most recent platter of Salade Niçoise with cold lobster tails and claws for a decadent East Coast twist on the classic. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go back to tuna now! The lobster paired so very well with the punchy tarragon vinaigrette. I hope you try it for yourself very soon.

The Niçoise is a fantastic do-ahead salad, as every ingredient can be prepped in advance and kept well chilled. A half hour or so before serving, compose your salad on a platter then drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving.

I’ve even layered my Niçoise salad into jars and packed it up for a picnic. Should you wish to do the same, start with a wide mouth quart mason jar and layer the ingredients in the following order: vinaigrette, potatoes, green beans, tuna (or lobster!), tomatoes, olives, eggs, tarragon and lettuce.

 

Lobster Nicoise Salad

This beautiful salad is a welcome burst of colour and flavor after a long winter. Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Gluten-free
Essential Ingredient: lobster
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Aimee

Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons eggs
  • 8 oz baby red potatoes scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound green beans trimmed
  • 1 head Boston lettuce or Butter lettuce
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted
  • 1 medium watermelon radish thinly sliced
  • 1 tail lobster cooked
  • 2 claws lobster cooked
  • 1 cluster cherry tomatoes

Instructions

  • Prepare the salad dressing by mashing the garlic with salt, using the flat side of your knife blade on a cutting board. When it is a fine paste, transfer it to a small bowl and whisk in the vinegar, Dijon and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil while whisking; the dressing should look creamy. Stir in the tarragon.
  • Place the eggs in a small pot and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for 1 minute; turn off heat. Cover the pot with a lid and let stand for 8 minutes. Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl and when the timer has rung, transfer the boiled eggs to the ice bath to cool. Once cooled, peel eggs, slice in half and reserve. Keep the ice bath for the green beans.
  • Place the potatoes in a medium pot and fill with water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are still firm but can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain and cool to room temperature.
  • Place the green beans in the same pot and pour in a half-inch of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes or until bright green. Drain the pot and transfer the green beans to the ice bath. Once they are cool, drain well and lay them on a clean tea towel to dry.
  • To serve: Tear the leaves off the lettuce and distribute them around a large platter. Arange the cold potatoes and green beans on top, followed by the olives. Slice the eggs in half and add them to the salad along with the sliced radish. Top with cold lobster and stem of cherry tomatoes. 
  • Just before serving, give the salad dressing a quick whisk and drizzle it all over the salad. Top with additional tarragon leaves if desired and finish with a sprinkling of sea salt on the eggs. Serve at once.

Nutrition

Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 608mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1920IU | Vitamin C: 20.7mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2.5mg
About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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