Salade Nicoise (a.k.a. "Fancy French Salad")

Salad Nicoise, low-FODMAP, gluten free

Get ready to channel Julia Child, because this main dish salad is as classic a French recipe as can be. Here's why I love it:

  • It's packed with healthy veggies: green beans, tomatoes, potatoes.
  • It's so satisfying. My husband isn't into salad as a meal, but repeatedly tells me how much he likes this one.
  • It's naturally low-FODMAP! No substitutions, tweaks or hard labor needed to make this work on the Low-FODMAP Diet.

This is what I like to call an "assembled" salad. What I mean is, you don't dump the tasty things into a bowl and toss them around all crazy-like (Not that there's anything wrong with that!). Oh, no. That is not the French way, ma chérie. Instead, you prep the components separately and arrange them together when you're ready to serve.

That means you can do a lot of the cooking in advance, like boiling the potatoes, blanching the green beans, making the dressing, hardboiling the eggs. In fact, I'd recommend doing at least 2 of these tasks ahead of time if you want this to be a low-maintenance weeknight meal.

On the other hand, all that prepping of individual ingredients does make Salade Nicoise a sort of, shall I say fussy, dish (Please don't tell Julia I said that!). Which is why I refer to it as my "fancy French salad."

Since I'm all about easy, practical recipes that take the stress out of the Low-FODMAP Diet, I questioned whether to share this one on the blog. The fact that it's just so delicious is what won out in the end. And pretty. So pretty and fancy.

Now tell me, have you ever whipped up a salad like this? Do you plan to?  

Salad Nicoise Low-FODMAP, gluten free

Salade Nicoise (Low-FODMAP, gluten free, dairy free)

Since this is a salad, the ingredient amounts don't need to be exact--do it how you want! 
Author: Julie~Calm Belly Kitchen             Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 25 mins        Cook time: 40 mins        Total time: 1 hour, 5 mins
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

6 to 8 oz French green beans (haricots verts), see note below
1 lb small red potatoes, halved, see note below
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 to 7 oz spring mix, arugula or butter lettuce
12 to 14 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 hardboiled eggs, halved
2 to 3 (5 oz) cans Italian tuna packed in olive oil, drained
24 kalamata, oil-cured or Niҫoise olives 
Chopped fresh chives for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans, cover and simmer until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander then dump beans into a large bowl of ice water (this will stop the cooking and keep the color bright); set aside.

2.Add 1 to 2 inches of water to the same pot and place steamer basket inside. Bring to a boil and add potatoes. Cover and simmer on medium-high heat, stirring potatoes around occasionally until tender, 22 to 28 minutes. Steaming helps keep the potatoes intact more easily, but you can also boil them to save time: boil on medium-high with the pot uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain if boiling and set potatoes aside.

3. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until emulsified.

4.Arrange the lettuce on 4 plates. Top with potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, hardboiled eggs, tuna and olives. Drizzle about 3/4 of the dressing over the top and add more if needed (You may have a bit leftover--you can always add more, but you can't undo a soggy salad; it keeps for 5 days in the fridge.), sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.

NOTES
-According to Monash University, a low-fodmap serving of green beans equals 86 grams. They call this 12 beans, but the skinny French style green beans are much smaller. For me, 12 haricot verts weighed in at 31 grams, or just over an ounce. In this recipe, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 ounces per serving is a good amount.
-You don't have to use tiny little baby potatoes! I did because they were at the store, and they were adorable. It's actually less work if you buy large red potatoes and chop into 1-inch chunks so you won't have to scrub so many small ones. Whatever works for you.
-Do look for Italian tuna in olive oil. I think it's tastier than the domestic brands, although those will work fine too. I used Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Pure Olive Oil, and it's stocked by most supermarkets.

Nutrition Information (this assumes you use all the dressing, however, you'll likely have some leftover)
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe  Calories: 637 Fat: 41g Saturated fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 40g Sugar:  19g Sodium: 1158mg Fiber: 4g Protein: 30g