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!

Easy Vegetarian Salad Nicoise Recipe

French Bean Salad

4 from 1 vote
An easy, vegetarian version of classic salad Niçoise with tomatoes, green beans, eggs, and white beans.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 2 generous servings

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.

Notes

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

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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27 Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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. :)

  5. I loved the salad. However, the dressing was a little too oniony for me and my family — I used only a 1/4 shallot when 1/2 shallot is recommended. Just something to keep in mind if you are not super into onion flavor!4 stars

    1. Hi Megan! Thanks so much for reporting back on the shallot level—your feedback is definitely helpful. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the salad!

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