When a salad graduates from an afterthought to a showpiece, chances are you’re talking Salade Niçoise.
Packed with flavor, it’s a light but complete meal that also sticks to your ribs. It’s perhaps my favorite dish to have on hot days.
Here I take the classic Provençal dish and serve it with grilled vegetables and a basil vinaigrette — all in celebration of summer’s exuberant flavors.
On a side note, although my Niçoise is fishless, grilled tuna steak would be a great addition to it.
See all tuna recipes.
*Note: Make sure the slices stay attached together.
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until the basil is finely chopped and the vinaigrette is well-blended. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Preheat a gas grill on high heat or prepare a charcoal grill. Lightly brush the eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil. Season with salt, to taste, and grill until grill marks appear on all sides. Transfer to a tray and set aside.
Place the onion slices in a bowl. Add the vinegar and oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss carefully, taking care not to break the slices apart, and transfer to a perforated stainless steel pan. Grill until charred. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Spread the baby arugula on a large serving platter. Top with the grilled eggplant, grilled onions, potatoes, haricots verts, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and caper berries. Serve with the vinaigrette on the side.