Anyone else get annoyed by the “a salad isn’t enough food” crowd? If you’d like a shot at proving such naysayers wrong, this Kale Niçoise Salad is for you! It takes the traditional recipe and adds an extra punch of superfood goodness, making it a big, filling bowl of macro- and micronutrients!
Kale Niçoise Salad
Prepared using canned tuna, soft boiled eggs, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and olives, this Kale Niçoise Salad is a pescatarian and gluten-free dish perfect for lunch or even a light dinner. Recipe options included for those following a low-carb diet.
What is Niçoise Salad?
Niçoise salad originated in … you guessed it … the French city of Nice! The salad traditionally includes boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, and anchovies or tuna. It is meant to be served as a composed salad rather than tossed. Meaning each ingredient gets its own little piece of land in the bowl. Music to the ears of all those who like keeping their foods distinctly separate!
Much debate surrounds the Salad Niçoise in terms of proper ingredients, with modern takes including cooked green beans and potatoes. For this recipe, I’ve included both, because I think they bring a heartiness to the dish that makes it extra satisfying. But, feel free to omit either ingredient if you’re more of a traditionalist!
While Niçoise salad is more often served atop lettuce, I enjoy mine on a bed of kale for an extra boost of healthy micronutrients!
How to make Kale Niçoise Salad
This Kale Niçoise salad is so easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes with minimal cooking required!
The first step is to make the salad dressing. For Niçoise salad, I prefer an Italian seasoned vinaigrette. Simply add all the ingredients to a small container or mason jar and shake vigorously. Double the dressing recipe if you want some leftovers for future salads! You can store leftovers in the fridge for several weeks.
Next, give your chopped kale a bit of a massage in oil and divide it between two bowls. Cook the potatoes in the microwave while you boil the eggs and blanch the green beans on the stove. If done simultaneously, this will only take you about 10 minutes total. Let the potatoes, green beans and eggs cool completely before adding them to your salad.
In the meantime, assemble your salad as pictured and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
Why do you need to massage kale?
Isn’t everyone just a little more pleasant after a massage? Well, kale is no different!
Personally, I find kale to be a little bitter and tough, neither of which are qualities I enjoy in a salad. By giving the kale leaves a massage, you actually break down some of that toughness and are left with a softer texture. Massaging kale also releases some of its natural bitterness, making it a lot more mellow for your dish.
Some also say that massaging kale leaves actually makes the vegetable easier to digest. That means your body is more easily able to use kale’s amazing micronutrients! It’s high in iron, calcium and Vitamin C, plus antioxidants that help the body remove unwanted toxins. If massaging kale allows me to reap the benefits of all those things, then rubbing I will do!
Modifications and substitutions
A Niçoise salad can be served with anchovies and/or tuna. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of tuna, but feel free to substitute for anchovies if you enjoy them. Or you could use both! For convenience, I use a can of tuna in olive oil, but you could also lightly sear a tuna steak and slice it on top.
If you are following a strict low-carb diet, follow the recipe below and simply omit the potatoes. Super easy!
If you’re looking for other delicious, nutritious salad options, check out my Perfect Winter Salad! Packed with micro and macro-nutrients and perfect as a lunch or appetizer.
If you make this Kale Niçoise Salad, please rate it and add your comments below. And be sure to tag @thebespokebites in your photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured!
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Kale Niçoise Salad
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cups kale, chopped
- 2 cans tuna in oil
- 4 soft boiled eggs
- 150g small, young potatoes
- 85g green beans, cut and trimmed
- 85g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 20 olives, pitted
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small container or jar and shake vigorously. Set aside.
- Rinse the potatoes thoroughly and pierce each with a fork. Transfer to a microwave-safe container or plate and microwave on high until tender; about 6-8 minutes. Turn the potatoes halfway through cooking time. Once cooked, let the potatoes cool until they are safe to handle. Cut into halves or quarters and set aside.
- While the potatoes are in the microwave, bring a small pot of water to boil on the stove. Add 4 eggs straight from the fridge into the boiling water and let cook for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water for 1-2 minutes to stop the cooking process. The eggs should be cool enough to peel at this point. Set aside.
- While the water is still boiling, plunge the green beans into the pot for one minute. Remove and run under cold water for one minute. Set aside.
- Place the chopped kale in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and massage the leaves using your hands for 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble two salads by splitting the massaged kale evenly between two bowls. Top with the remaining ingredients – tuna, eggs, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and olives. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of dressing on each salad and enjoy!