Two of the best things about salade Niçoise are that there’s really no wrong way to make it and that it’s infinitely adaptable to both seasons and tastes. You can make it without potatoes for the no-carb crowd (according to Jacques Médecin, without potatoes is the only proper way, anyway); you can add any number of root vegetables and herbs; you can serve it on a bed of lettuce; you can make dressing (much better) or buy it. Since potatoes, beans, radishes, beets, and cherry tomatoes are all in season right now, you can make the most of them with a nice big salad platter. And maybe some grilled sourdough bread, for the crowd that’s so over that whole no-carb thing.
Love to Cook: This recipe from Saveur has some non-traditional ingredients (beets, basil); the time-consuming part is preparing all of these ingredients in advance, but it’s worth it if you have both the fresh produce and the time. If you’re looking for a more classic approach, here’s one from Jacques Pepin’s and one from David Lebovitz.
Weeknight Reality: This quick version featured on The Kitchn eliminates the potatoes, which eliminates the cooking time for potatoes. If potatoes are important, then this version from Food & Wine is also pretty quick, even with the cooking time.
Need a Miracle: If you skip the boiled eggs and potatoes, use lettuce (or mache) and pickled green beans, you can make a quasi-salade Niçoise entirely from the grocery shelves and refrigerated section: lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives (in a jar or from the olive bar, if your market has one), red onion, canned tuna (packed in oil). Brianna’s French Vinaigrette dressing with a spoon of Dijon mustard stirred in will work fine as a dressing.