Vegetarian Niçoise Salad Recipe

A tuna and anchovy-free version of the classic Niçoise from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Veg. "Without any tuna or anchovies, I guess you might upset the good people of Nice a bit with this one, but it is an exceptionally delicious and substantial salad with plenty going on. I like to cook the eggs so they are hard-boiled but with the yolks still quite soft and sticky."


1 lb. new potatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 oz. green beans, cut into roughly 1″ lengths
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 or 3 Little Gem or similar lettuces
A handful of small black olives
About 12 large basil leaves, torn (or use small ones whole)

1/2 small garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A pinch of sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1: You can cook small new potatoes whole, but cut larger ones in half or smaller so the pieces are all roughly the same size. Put the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes until tender, adding the beans for the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain, tip into a bowl, and leave to cool.

Step 2: To cook the eggs, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs, return to a simmer, then cook for 7 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan, lightly crack the shells, and run the eggs under cold water for a minute or two to stop the cooking. Leave to cool, then peel and quarter the eggs.

Step 3: To make the dressing, put the garlic, oil, vinegar, mustard and sugar into a screw-top jar, season with salt and pepper, and shake until emulsified.

Step 4: Halve, quarter, or thickly slice the cooked potatoes. Put them back with the beans, add some of the dressing, and toss together gently.

Step 5: Separate the lettuce leaves and gently toss in a bowl with a little of the dressing. Arrange the lettuce, potatoes and beans on a serving platter and distribute the olives and eggs over the salad. Scatter with the torn basil, trickle over the remaining dressing, and grind over some pepper. Serve right away, with bread.

See more recipes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Reprinted with permission from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg (2013 Appetite by Random House).