A classic Nicoise Salad, which includes both easy hard boiled eggs and tuna, is a protein boost and a diet saver that’s perfect for a light lunch. Boiled eggs are packed full of protein and easy to have on hand in the fridge.  I’ve got some tips on how to hard boil and shell your eggs to make it all super easy.

The classic Nicoise Salad

This salad originated in the French city of Nice, so you need to add a bit of an accent to your pronunciation.  Try it like this – nee-suahz. Nicoise actually means in the cooking style of Nice!

It’s something I often whip up for lunch as it is easy to have the ingredients on hand.  It uses eggs from the fridge and cans of tuna and anchovies in the cupboard.  As long as you also have fresh lettuce, beans, olives and cucumber on hand, you can make this meal in a flash.  I top it with flat-leaf parsley picked fresh from the garden and always leave out the onion!

Serve a Nicoise salad on its own as a light summer lunch or as an accompaniment to meat for a filling meal. While you are eating it, dream about a holiday in the sunny Côte d’Azur.

While there is some debate about whether cooked or raw vegetables should be used, all recipes include hard-boiled eggs. Ask Sunny Queen about eggs, and they will tell you these ovoids are jam-packed full of nutritional goodness and play a significant role in maintaining a healthy diet. Expect an average six grams of protein in every egg*, and 11 vitamins and minerals including Omega-3, vitamins A, B12, D and E, folate, riboflavin, iron and zinc.

Some prefer to serve the salad tossed, while others place the ingredients in groups on the plate. I have also seen it served inside a lettuce leaf as a wrap.

You might also want to include artichoke hearts or red pepper and may wish to leave out the red onion and/or anchovies.  It’s all about personal taste, I think!

Nicoise Salad

​Nicoise Salad

Serves four as a light lunch.



  • Three large Sunny Queen eggs
  • Two baby gem or cos lettuce washed and dried
  • Four vine-ripened tomatoes cut into wedges (keep these on your kitchen bench, not the fridge, for the best flavour)
  • 200g green beans
  • One tin (about 300g) of tuna in olive oil
  • ½ red onion
  • One Lebanese cucumber
  • 16-20 black olives
  • Small can of flat anchovy fillets
  • Handful flat-leaf parsley – leaves picked


  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • One or two small cloves of garlic peeled and crushed (depending on taste)
  • Salt and pepper to season


  • Cover eggs with water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for four minutes
  • Run eggs under cold water to stop the cooking, then peel and cut into halves
  • Slice red onion finely
  • Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and slice 5mm thick
  • Drain the tuna
  • Start layering the salad on a plate or platter – begin with lettuce
  • Add the cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and tuna
  • Blanch the beans in a saucepan of boiling water, with a pinch of salt, cook the beans for less than a minute and drain
  • Add beans and eggs to the salad
  • Place an anchovy fillet over the top of each egg half.
  • Scatter with parsley leaves and black olives
  • To make the dressing – mix all ingredients and stir or shake to combine and drizzle over the salad
  • Serve immediately
classic Nicoise Salad

Easy hard boiled eggs

The biggest mistake people make when boiling eggs is to overcook them. That’s why you get a dark green ring around the yolk.

The easiest way to hard boil eggs perfectly is to add them to a saucepan in a single layer and cover with three centimetres of water. Put the heat on high and bring the pan to a rolling boil. Then turn off the heat, cover and let it sit for 10 to 12 minutes.

Strain the water off and add cold water to the pan over the eggs. This will cool them quickly.

When they are cool, peel your eggs!

Having problems peeling your eggs?  Older eggs peel much easier than fresh eggs.  I find a cold dessert spoon is a very helpful tool.  Tap the top of the egg to break the shell and angle the edge of the spoon between the egg and the shell with a twist.  The egg comes out so quickly!

More tuna recipes

I am a big tuna fan and always have a can in the cupboard and the makings for these three healthy and easy seafood recipes.

Disclaimer:  This recipe has been adapted from an original supplied by Sunny Queen eggs.

Dream of your next holiday in beautiful Nice in France. Photo: Kerry Heaney

Nice, France