Our Salad Nicoise Recipe
Elegant in Every Way

Beautify your party with this delicious salad.

This Salad Nicoise recipe will be enjoyed by everyone. There’s a little bit of so many good things: Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, tuna, eggs and more wind up decoratively arranged in this buffet table beauty.

Elaborate? Yes, but, most of this salad can be made ahead of the time.

It’s not the cheapest, but we know your guests will like it. Spend some time building this salad carefully. All the colors and textures should be like paints on an artist’s brush.

Chances are good that you’ll have a vegetarian or two at your party. Salad Nicoise offers them and everyone a good alternative choice.


This recipe will feed 50 people, if you are you are serving other snacks, and/or appetizers, dinners, etc. Read about Party Food Quantities and how to plan for the right amounts.

Shopping List for 50 People:

___3 packages of romaine lettuce

___4 – 12 ounce cans of three-bean salad

___12 plum tomatoes

___2 cucumbers

___4 bell peppers, red or green

___2 bunches of scallion onions

___8 - 6-ounce cans of white Albacore tuna, the best quality

___2 – 12 ounce cans of pitted black olives

___2 – 12 ounce jars of stuffed green olives

___1 dozen eggs

___2 - 2-ounce cans of anchovy fillets

The Dressing:

___8 ounces of extra virgin olive oil

___Small amount of red wine vinegar

___3 lemons

___Small amount Dijon mustard

___Salt and pepper

___1 disposable aluminum pan 12 ¾” x 20” x 3” (large, deep, "full" pan)

___1 bag of ice


One Day Before the Party:

Hard-boil the dozen eggs, using the following method: in a large pot that has a cover big enough to hold all the eggs, carefully stack the eggs, fill with water, shake in some salt and cover. Heat on high heat until it boils. Allow to boil for two minutes and turn off heat, leaving covered the entire time.

Allow to stand, still covered, with no heat, for twenty minutes. After 20 minutes, carefully remove one egg and run under cold water for one minute or two. Peel the egg and cut in ½ to see if it is cooked throughout. If it is, remove the eggs from the stove, carry to the sink and run under cold water for 5 minutes or more. Drain off water and refrigerate for one hour or more. Remove from refrigerator, peel and wash eggs with water and return to refrigeration.

The Dressing for Salad Nicoise:

Make the dressing by combining the 8 ounces of olive oil, ¼ cup of red wine vinegar, the juice of the three lemons and ¼ cup of the mustard with one table spoon of salt and one tea spoon of pepper. Mix together very well. Store in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate.

TIP: If time is not on your side and you need to do more prep work today and not tomorrow – you can go ahead and prep the cucumbers, onions and peppers today, storing them in zip-lock bags in the refrigerator overnight. Of course, they’re better if you can cut them just before serving – but things don’t always work out that way…!

On the Day of the Party:

Wash, peel and slice the cucumbers, store in zip-lock bags and refrigerate.

Wash and cut the bell peppers into thin rings.

Wash and chop the scallion onions.

Store in zip-lock bags and refrigerate them together.

Cut the hard-boiled eggs into quarters – wedges through the center of the egg.

Sprinkle the cut wedges with a little salt and set aside.

Open up the cans of beans and drain them completely. Set aside.

Open the cans of tuna, green olives and black olives.

Drain completely. Set aside.

Open the anchovies and allow them to drain completely. Place them in a small serving dish or a bowl, set aside.

Break the romaine lettuce into bite-size pieces and carefully fill the disposable aluminum pan.

Pour about half of the dressing over the lettuce and toss it together with your clean hands. Return to the refrigerator.

Wash and cut the cut tomatoes into wedges. Try to get six wedges per tomato.

And now for the fun part:….!

Assemble all ingredients around your pan of lettuce. Now decoratively and artfully arrange all ingredients onto your bed of lettuce, except for the anchovies. (We’ll be serving these separately on the buffet table, so only the people who really like them can have them).

Once this beautiful salad is built, carefully pour the remaining dressing over the top. Don’t be afraid to sprinkle a little pepper for color and taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Presentation of Salad Nicoise: Your Eyes Eat First

Transfer the aluminum pan of salad to your chilled chafing dish. Keep the salad covered until just before your guests arrive. Put the anchovies on a small dish and place next to the salad.

Leftovers of Salad Nicoise:

As a leftover, this salad has a very limited life. Refrigerate it and enjoy it for a couple of days.

How about some more Salads?

Find an Appetizer to go with this salad?

Ready for some Dinner and Entrée ideas?

Questions about Salad Nicoise? Need an idea for your party? Use the form below to ask us about quantities, substitutions, whatever. We're here to help. Ask-a-Caterer is free:

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