Poached Salmon Nicoise Salad Recipe

Although it has many variations, the classic salad of Nice, France, typically includes haricots verts—slender, young green beans—along with boiled potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and lettuce.

Usually the salad also contains tuna, but, in this recipe, using poached salmon puts a new twist on the old favorite.


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • Salt
  • 2 skin-on wild salmon fillet pieces (1 to 1 1/2 in. thick)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 5 tablespoons white wine
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 large bunches watercress, root ends trimmed, leaving stems intact
  • 10 small yellow-skinned new potatoes, boiled until tender and cut in half
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 pound haricots verts (French green beans)  trimmed and boiled until tender-crisp
  • 1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives
  •  3 tomatoes, cut into lengthwise wedges


  1.  To a large saute pan, add bay leaves, salt, peppercorns, and wine. Add salmon and enough water to cover.
  2. Remove salmon and set aside; bring liquid to a boil, covered. Reduce to a simmer, then gently slide salmon into liquid and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, covered, until salmon is just opaque.
  3. While salmon is cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, and vinegar. Gradually whisk in oil until dressing is emulsified. Whisk in herbs and season with sea salt.
  4. Using 2 spatulas, remove salmon, place on a cooling rack and chill for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Discard poaching liquid.
  5. Remove salmon from fridge and break into large pieces, discarding skin. On a plates, top watercress with pieces of fish, potatoes, eggs, green beans, olives, and tomatoes. Drizzle dressing over everything and serve immediately, accompanied by crusty bread.


For best results, enjoy in the sunshine with friends and a glass of your favourite wine from a Riedel Stemless Wine Glass.

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