This hearty and colorful salad originates from the city of Nice, France in the early 20th century. Nice is part of the French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) which is the region of southeast France situated along the Mediterranean Sea. In the French Riviera, one can expect to find a quintessential Mediterranean diet, characterized in part by the inclusion of leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olives, and fish. This diet is associated with myriad health benefits including a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as improved glycemic control [i].
This delicious salad is sure to leave you feeling satiated with its high content of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. The recipe is simple to prepare and can be easily meal-prepped for a week’s worth of lunches!
Eggs: Eggs are an inexpensive yet dense source of nutrition, packed with healthy fats and protein. Eggs, specifically egg protein, have been linked with improved skeletal musculature and health, improved satiety, weight loss, and prevention against certain infections and cancers [ii].
Olives and Olive Oil: Key ingredients in the Mediterranean diet, olives and olive oil are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants mainly in the form of vitamin E. Extensive studies have linked monounsaturated fatty acids with improved cardiovascular health and vitamin E with protection against oxidative damage [iii].
Tuna: As an excellent source of protein, fish contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need from food. Lean fish such as tuna has been linked with decreased risked of metabolic syndrome, reductions in appetite, and improved weight management [iv].
- 1 pound baby red potatoes
- 5 large eggs
- 1.5 cups green beans
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 heads little gem lettuce, shredded
- 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes
- 15 oz canned albacore tuna in water
- 3/4 cup olives
- Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan with cold water and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for an extra 7-8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl and let cool. Once cool, slice evenly.
- In a separate saucepan bring water to a boil and fill with green beans and cook for 3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Remove and chop into thirds.
- In a final saucepan hard boil the eggs with 1 inch of water over medium-high heat and cover. Let cook for 12 minutes, drain, and run under cold water and peel. Cut eggs into quarters.
- Prepare the dressing: In either a blender or a bowl using an immersion blender, mix the mustard, vinegar, salt, olive oil, and pepper to taste.
- In 5 separate bowls, arrange the lettuce, chopped tomatoes, green beans, tuna, quartered-eggs, olives, potatoes, and drizzle with the prepared Dijon dressing.
- Feel free to add in extra veggies you enjoy such as cucumbers, radishes, or peppers. You may even substitute gem lettuce for any type of mixed green that you prefer.
- Use the dressing sparingly at first and add more to taste. You may also substitute your favorite vinaigrette dressing.
- Tuna may be substituted with other fish such as canned or even cooked salmon. For a vegetarian version of this dish, consider chickpeas or tofu.
- As always, feel free to use frozen or microwaveable veggies and potatoes to make meal prep a bit quicker!
[i] Rishor-Olney CR, Hinson MR. Mediterranean Diet. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed August 2, 2022. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557733/
[ii] Puglisi MJ, Fernandez ML. The Health Benefits of Egg Protein. Nutrients. 2022;14(14):2904. doi:10.3390/nu14142904
[iii] Rocha J, Borges N, Pinho O. Table olives and health: a review. J Nutr Sci. 2020;9:e57. doi:10.1017/jns.2020.50
[iv] Tørris C, Småstuen MC, Molin M. Nutrients in Fish and Possible Associations with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):E952. doi:10.3390/nu10070952