Super Seafood Niçoise Salad
Spring is such a lovely time of year for fresh produce and seafood. Oodles of fruits, veggies, fish, and shellfish just waiting to adorn our salad bowls. That vibrant seasonal abundance is one thing that makes a well-crafted Niçoise salad such a Spring-time joy.
Isn’t that Nice
Niçoise salad originates from the French Rivera, specifically, from the town of Nice. This sunny Mediterranean destination infuses its famous salad with classic ingredients found throughout the region. Creating contrast and balance between the fresh-crisp vegetables, salty olives, tart lemons, tangy Dijon mustard, unctuous EVOO, and fresh-caught seafood. Even the grumpiest of chefs, Chef Gordon Ramsay, says that Niçoise salad is one of the “finest seasonal salads of all time”.
Seafood of the Mediterranean
Only the best Mediterranean seafood will do for our salad! Traditionally, you’ll see restaurants serving Niçoise topped with seared tuna or swordfish steaks. We wanted to take that one step further by adding in even MORE, making this a truly super seafood salad! Choosing additional Mediterranean-found fish and shellfish, we decided on the following combination; swordfish steaks (for maximum meatiness), lobster meat (for maximum opulence), and jumbo cocktail shrimp (for maximum flavor).
Dressing it Up
This simple, Spring-herb infused vinaigrette will work as both a marinade for our grilled swordfish and as an overall dressing for the salad.
Niçoise Salad Vinaigrette and Marinade
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons garlic, peeled and minced
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- Hearty pinch of cracked black pepper
Place lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, and garlic in a medium bowl, and whisk until blended. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate the vinaigrette until ready to cook the swordfish and assemble the salad.
Marinating and Cooking the Swordfish
Thoroughly thaw 1lb of swordfish (2 steaks). Place the swordfish steaks in a sealable container and drizzle with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Refrigerate for 1 hour before grilling.
To grill your swordfish steaks, preheat one side of a gas grill to medium-high heat or prep charcoals for a charcoal grill (once the charcoals are hot, push them over to one side of your grill). Remove the swordfish from the marinade, letting any excess marinade drip off of the steaks, and place on the “hot” side of your grill. Sear for 1-2 minutes per side, just until grill marks form, then transfer the steaks to the side of the grill not directly over the heat source. Continue to cook until the internal temperature of your swordfish reaches 130°F (for medium)-145°F (for well-done). Remove from the grill and set aside to rest. You can slice, flake, or leave whole- which ever you prefer.
Assembling the Salad
Super Seafood Niçoise Salad
- 1 cup green beans or haricot vert blanched
- 1 1/2 cup baby potatoes steamed tender and cooled
- 12 cocktail shrimp
- 4-6 oz lobster meat
- 1/4 cup prepared Niçoise salad vinaigrette
- Salt and cracked black pepper
- 4 cups baby lettuce greens or gem lettuces
- 2 eggs hard boiled, peeled, and quartered
- 1/2 cup mixed Mediterranean olives
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup cucumbers sliced or diced
- 2 grilled swordfish steaks
- Place blanched green beans, steamed baby potatoes, shrimp, and lobster meat in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the prepared Niçoise vinaigrette and gently toss to coat.
- Season the seafood and veggies to taste with a little salt and cracked black pepper.
- Divide the lettuce between salad bowls or plates. Top each salad, evenly, with hard boiled eggs, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled swordfish steaks, shrimp, lobster, green beans, and baby potatoes.
- Serve the salad with the remaining dressing on the side.
A Season of Salads
Do you enjoy seasonal seafood salads as much as we do? Feel free to share those sexy salad pics with us! We love seeing what folks are cooking up with our seafood. Post your images, recipes, or tips on any of our social pages… We’re @cameronsseafoodonline on Instagram and @CameronsSeafood on Facebook.
Need to stock up on some seafood before composing those salads? We have you covered! All of the fish and shellfish listed in this article (swordfish steaks, lobster meat, and jumbo cocktail shrimp) are available at our online store, cameronsseafood.com. No matter if you’re near or far, Cameron’s Seafood delivers the very best seafood directly to your door.
About the author
Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.