French Bean Salad

French Bean Salad is the sort of dish I wish I would eat when I’m home alone for dinner. Instead, my solo dining habits combine a third of a bottle of wine, leftover Brussels sprouts, a baby wheel of goat cheese, and cold cherry crisp eaten directly in front of the refrigerator.

Easy Vegetarian Salad Nicoise RecipeRereading my single-lady meal plan, I’m semi-comforted by the fact that most food groups are represented. I also wonder if I’ll ever become a fully functional adult, capable of caring for other human beings.

While cheese, crisp, and booze make for a nice enough evening, these odd dinners leave me feeling full but not satisfied. What I need on solo nights (and for lunch and maybe even for breakfast, because I’m that obsessed with this recipe right now) is French Bean Salad. It’s bursting with the flavors of the French Riviera, ideal for summer, and best of all, leaves me feeling filled and happy.

French Bean Salad // Well-Plated

French Bean Salad is my shortcut, budget-friendly take on the classic salad Niçoise, a salad that originated in Nice but is wildly popular throughout France. Salad Niçoise is composed of tomatoes, tuna, anchovies, olives, and hard boiled eggs. Lettuce is optional (but common), as are other mix-ins such as rice, green beans, or potatoes. It was one of my favorite lunches during our trip to France, and I’ve been craving it since we’ve been home.

French Bean Salad Nicoise RecipeI swapped the tuna and anchovies typically used for salad Niçoise for white beans. No hard feelings to the fish—I find it’s simply harder (and more expensive) to find great-tasting anchovies in the U.S. Also, although I like anchovies, I admit that they are not the most popular food in the pantry. Anchovies out, it made sense to drop the tuna and substitute an easy ingredient that I love and always have on hand: white beans.

As a bonus, with the white bean swap, vegetarians and anchovy skeptics can now jump aboard the salad Niçoise train, a very very tasty place to be.

French Bean Salad is ideal for summer, because it rocks out some of the season’s best veggies: green beans; tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes because they are adorable and yummy, but any sliced tomato will do nicely); and cool cucumbers. Fresh parsley brings the salad to life.

French Bean Salad - Easy vegetarian version of salad Nicoise

The vinaigrette I used for French Bean Salad is my go-to salad dressing. A quick mix of Dijon mustard, lemon, shallots, and olive oil, it comes together in less time than I spend making toast and tastes fabulous on everything from vegetables, to bruschetta, to hard boiled eggs.

French Bean Salad with Easy Viniagrette

Speaking of hard boiled eggs, the labor of love to peel them is more than worth the creaminess and extra protein satisfaction they bring to French Bean Salad. Please don’t skip them. Also, the yolks are so pretty!

French Bean Salad- Easy Vegetarian Salad Nicoise with white beans and hard boiled eggs

Bright summer veggies, zippy fresh dressing, creamy eggs, hearty white beans, and salty olives unite. French Bean Salad is a taste of the Riviera, brought to your dining room table!

French Bean Salad- Easy Vegetarian Salad Nicoise RecipeOh, that cherry crisp I casually mentioned eating right of the refrigerator? Not a figment of my imagination. It’s a crisp-topping lover’s dream and is coming to a blog near you verrrry soon. Stay tuned!

French Bean Salad

An easy, vegetarian version of classic salad Niçoise with tomatoes, green beans, eggs, and white beans.

Yield: 2 generous servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
  • 4 ounces mixed greens
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded, and diced
  • 1/3 cup small black olives or halved large olives, pitted
  • 7 ounces white beans, such as cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf or curly parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Hard boil the eggs: In a small pot, bring just enough water to cover the eggs to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and gently lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Bring water to a low, rumbling boil, then let cook for 9 minutes. A few minutes before the eggs are finished cooking, prepare an ice bath. Remove the eggs from the boiling water and plunge into the cold water. Let rest a few minutes, then tap the eggs with back of a spoon to crack them (this will make peeling easier). Return to the ice water to cool completely, then peel and cut into wedges.
  2. Blanch the green beans: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then drop in green beans. Boil until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drop the cooked beans into an ice bath to shock the green beans and stop the cooking (for ease, empty then refill the ice bath used for the eggs). Drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, shallot, and salt. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. (Alternatively, you can shake all of the dressing ingredients together in a tightly-sealed mason jar.)
  4. Place the salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and green beans in a large salad bowl and toss with the desired amount of dressing, reserving some to drizzle on at the end (any extra dressing can be reserved for a later time). Scatter white beans and olives over the top, then arrange eggs around the sides. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with parsley and black pepper.

Make-ahead note: Hard boiled eggs can be refrigerated in their shells for about 1 week.

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...

25 comments

  1. This French Bean salad does look delightful for solo dining, but I could totally see myself making it for a healthy and quick lunch too. Love how it’s loaded in veggies and uses eggs for the protein.

    The parsley on top gives it a pop of color and a kick for taste too. Yum. And parsley is so nutritious!

    Oh, and the French Riviera, some day!

  2. I had this for lunch just yesterday!! We grew up eating it and it couldn’t be more healthy or delish!

  3. I will admit, my single girl dinners look a lot like yours. But this salad is how they should be!

  4. Gorgeous salad, Erin! I love all of the colorful veggies in here. Definitely sounds like my kind of salad! Pinned!

  5. This salad sounds so refreshing!!

  6. You and I are totally single-lady dinner twins. As much as I love a good glass of wine and a wheel of cheese ;), this salad is definitely a much healthier/yummier/better dinner plan!

  7. Erin, love this salad! ah, the single girl dinners. . I miss them so much. . :( love the salad and your homemade vinaigrette is pretty much my go-to as well. I always keep a jar on hand in the fridge!

  8. So pretty with those gorgeous green beans! I am all about them lately! This sounds delicious – and I most certainly would not skip the hard boiled eggs – that would be crazy :)

  9. It is so tempting to just pick out random things from the fridge when you are on your own – I just don’t feel motivated to do a whole big thing just for myself. This sounds like the perfect girl’s night in salad :)

  10. I wish I had a big helping of this salad for lunch!

  11. Haha! I just had the single lady lunch…a bunch of random food from the fridge but thankfully no wine (yet). Those hard boiled eggs are gorgeous and this salad looks perfect for a simple, yet filling, dinner option! Bring on that crisp! :)

  12. This is my kind of salad, Erin. It looks very delicious and satisfying.

  13. Ha, I know what you mean, when I’m home alone, I end up eating Kraft Mac and Cheese or Ramen (my guilty pleasures) instead of actually eating something of substance. I would give myself quite the pat on the back if my solo dinner included this salad!

  14. When I’m home alone I do the same thing, I create solo meals that end up turning out great but that are unexpected…this salad, this looks so yummy and fancy, yet not too hard to make, definitely going to try :)

  15. So many fresh summer ingredients happening here! This reminds me of many salads I had in Europe too. My solo meals at home usually look like cereal or hummus & carrots & veggies. Looking forward to that crisp recipe!

  16. I am the exact same way! I could totally eat this for dinner and be so happy, but my husband always wants side dishes and main courses, and annoying things like that! Now, I just need him to go away for the weekend so I can make this salad and eat all of it for dinner!

  17. What a beautiful salad! It’s full of so many different flavors, and that vinaigrette sounds perfect with it!

  18. Ah this is a beautiful salad!! I wish my single girl dinners were this sophisticated.

  19. What a pretty presentation!! I love the ingredient list, this has some things I wouldn’t had thought to pair together but I love it!

  20. Look at those beautifully and perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs!! This recipe is so fresh and easy!

  21. I can’t quite remember the last time I cooked for just myself, but I definitely think this one looks like a winner for the whole family! Love all those beautiful colors.

  22. I always forget about nicoise salad, but it’s a wonderfully healthy and tasty salad. You might just have convinced me to make it for lunch some time soon!

  23. Oh its so pretty! And healthy to boot. Your gorgeous summer salads and fresh ingredients make me long for warmth. Hope you are well Erin. :)

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