Poached Salmon Niçoise Salad

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 sauté 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.

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