Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

There has been a lot of excitement around the house in the last few weeks: our daughter was getting ready for her role of Molly in a Tom Sawyer theatrical production. Nervous and excited, she has been rehearsing daily and counting days, no, minutes to the big premiere.

On the day of the show she woke up with the roosters, at the crack of dawn. She patiently skipped around the house, sticking her head into our bedroom every minute and a half, checking for any movement.

We spent a whole morning picking out a perfect 19-century costume. Skirt below the knee, lacy fichu with a gorgon ribbon, straw hat, nylons. At 12:30 pm, dressed up, with hair neatly tied back in a ponytail, our little actress was dropped off for the final dress rehearsal. “Daddy, the show is at 4, don’t be late”, she said as she opened the door.  “Would not miss it for the WORLD,” my hubby kissed her on the cheek.

With our son at a birthday party and three whole hours to ourselves, we decided to go on a long and beautiful hike. At 1,150 feet elevation and about 1.5 hours into the hike, I checked my Android to find a missed call and a voicemail from the school. My heart practically stopped when I heard, “Moooommy! You forgot to pick me up.”

The rest of the hour was kind of a blur as I only have a vague recollection of how we got back to the car. At 3:30, we pulled into a packed parking lot. Disregarding any proper etiquette, I loudly opened the door in the middle of the Orhcestra performance.

There she was, my baby, sitting in the last row, with one stray lock now hanging down from her once perfect pre-performance pony tail…with a single red carnation in one hand and a melting Hershey bar in the other. She turned her face to me, cheeks pink, big eyes full of sadness and disappointment… “Mommy, you and daddy missed my performance. It was at 1.”

The details of how we got the times confused will forever remain a mystery. We all came home quiet. My son broke the silence when he returned from the party and gave his sister a long warm hug, “I am sorry we missed it!”

Our evening unexpectedly freed up and so we stayed in and played Go. Then the time for dinner came… I was in no mood to cook anything, so we nibbled on the leftovers from last night’s Nicoise salad. Here is a recipe of this We-Missed-Our-Daughters-Performance salad.

PS: This Mediterranean-inspired tuna salad tastes best when served on a plate or as a sandwich spread. In my house, from now on and always, it will be served on a sourdough roll with a hint of a sadness.

PPS: Nicoise salad is a vegan alternative to an old boring tuna salad. Olive oil packed canned tuna is mixed with kalamata olives, red onions, fresh herbs, and vinaigrette to create a rich and flavorful salad.

Vegan Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

Nicoise salad


  • 1 (6oz) can tuna in olive oil
  • 3/4 cups Nicoise or Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 jar or can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup asparagus, thinly sliced sliced or shaved
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the tuna, olives, red bell pepper, onion, parsley, artichoke hearts and asparagus. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil until it is emulsified/combined. Pour the vinaigrette into the tuna mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Serve as an appetizer with cubes of feta cheese and a tart Granny Smith apple or pressed between two garlic and oil slicked halves of a french baguette.
Vegan Nicoise salad on a bun

Vegan Nicoise salad on a bun

Vegan Nicoise salad

Vegan Nicoise salad

Wine pairing:

A light red wine may seem like an eccentric choice (most wine experts suggest a Dry Rose) to serve with this salad, but I tried and loved the pairing. A light, round, fruity Clos du Bois Pinot compliments the bold flavors in the salad.

Vegan Nicoise sandwich

Vegan Nicoise sandwich

Print Friendly

Related Post

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Leslie May 26, 2011, 5:56 PM

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for cauliflower recipes. :) This looks AMAZING and can’t wait to try it once i’m finished with my current “cleanse” program (a 3 week completely vegetarian diet). Thanks for sharing!

  • Faina May 26, 2011, 8:16 PM

    Leslie, mmmm, cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables :)

  • Ann June 8, 2011, 10:31 PM

    Another great-sounding recipe. Thank you.

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: