I just love reminding the world that anything you can do, we can do vegan! This vegan nicoise salad is a delicious testimony to that. It’s got color, texture, and it makes eating your vegetables easy and fun.
If you’ve been a longtime picky eater or salad snubber like I was, you may want a little background on what a nicoise salad is. Yes? Traditional alade niçoise (how they say it in French) originated in Nice, France, and is a salad of tuna, olives, hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and not many greens. You may have seen this salad on the menu of a hotel restaurant or middle-of-the-road eatery, but you’ve never seen it like this. This vegan nicoise salad is a fresher more colorful take on the classic.
I love that this vegan nicoise salad is just as easy to make as the original. I replace the tuna with marinated artichoke hearts, which also come from a jar and require no prep. The egg is replaced with chickpeas. Easy!
Most nicoise salads combine boiled potatoes and green beans with the other ingredients. The vegetables are served with a flavorful vinaigrette. However, for my vegan version I find that the whole salad is even more delicious when you roast or grill the vegetables before tossing with the dressing. Roast the vegetables while you’re working on the other ingredients so that everything is ready to go at the same time. This salad is also great for meal prep. Since it contains lots of cooked ingredients you won’t have to worry about your lettuce getting soggy. Speaking of lettuce. While most nicoise salads are served with a tender bibb or crunchy romaine lettuce, I also love mixing in some bitter radicchio for even more flavor and color. This is one of the prettiest salads ever!
- ½ lb little red potatoes, halved
- 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- ½ tsp salt + more to taste
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 6 romaine leaves
- 6 radicchio leaves (or use more romaine, if you can’t find it)
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup artichoke hearts (from jar)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tbsp capers
- parsley, mint, basil, and/or fennel sprigs to garnish
- ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
- 2½ tbsp minced shallot or red onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt + more to taste
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375°. Toss the potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil, then sprinkle on the oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Spread evenly onto the baking dish and roast 30-35 minutes, until tender.
- Grill the asparagus on an indoor grill pan or outdoors. Or, toss in ½ tbsp of oil and roast along with the potatoes. Roast for 20 minutes.
- Place the romaine and radicchio leaves onto your plate(s), then top with the roasted potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, olives, and capers.
- Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until creamy. If you don't have a jar, combine the ingredients (except the oil) in a bowl and whisk. Slowly add the oil as you whisk continuously.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad.
- Garnish with fresh herbs.