While the classic French Nicoise salad is often dressed simply with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, we’d like to suggest something a bit more robust. This Niçoise Salad Dressing gets a boost of flavor from the addition of briny Niçoise olives.
That’s right! More olives! It’s essentially an olive vinaigrette.
Don’t worry, it’s perfectly balanced out by the addition of fresh lemon juice, basil, and a splash of sherry vinegar. Because there are so few ingredients here, make sure everything is high quality, especially the extra virgin olive oil.
- Niçoise olives: These are olives grown specifically in the south of France. They have a smooth, nutty taste, and are often brine cured and packed in olive oil.
- A small shallot: We often add finely chopped shallots to our salad dressing recipes — they have a more delicate onion flavor that we love!
- Fresh basil: These balance out the salty, briny flavor of the olives.
- Garlic: This gives the dressing a little heat.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use something that has a robust, full flavor.
- Sherry vinegar: If you don’t have sherry, you can add a splash of white wine vinegar.
- Fresh lemon juice: You’ll need about 1 Tbsp, or half a small lemon.
- Kosher salt: To season the vinaigrette.
Note: because of the olives in this salad dressing recipe, feel free to omit the added Kosher salt if you are sensitive to salt.
How To Make Niçoise Salad Dressing
The easiest way by far is to add everything to a personal blender and process until very smooth. We like this method because it ensures the Niçoise olives are broken down and not too coarse.
We recommend this Zwilling personal blender, which we use almost daily for salad dressings. You can certainly chop everything very finely by hand if you prefer.
What’s In Nicoise Salad?
The classic French Nicoise Salad (referred to as Salade Niçoise and pronounced nee-SWAZ) hails from Nice, France. It features the following ingredients, typically plated in heaping mounts on top of a bed of buttery lettuce:
- Jarred or canned tuna (use something high quality!)
- Haricots verts (French green beans)
- Boiled potatoes
- Hard boiled eggs
- Niçoise olives
With simple ingredients comes the need to use high quality produce. It makes all the difference in the world!
Make Ahead and Storage
This Nicoise salad dressing recipe can be made up to 5 days in advance. We always recommend making salad dressings in advance because the flavor intensifies and it makes meal prep that much easier!
Store in an airtight container (we like mason jars for this!) in a fridge until needed. Allow the dressing to sit out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving to help loosen a bit.
If you make this Niçoise Salad Dressing recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Thick & Creamy Niçoise Salad Dressing Recipe
- 2 Tbsp chopped Niçoise olives
- 1 small shallot finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves finely chopped (or parsley)
- 1 small garlic clove roughly chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- Make the salad dressing. Either finely chop all ingredients, then place in a mason jar with olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, and salt or place all ingredients in a personal blender and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Note: we prefer the texture of this salad dressing finely blended, as the olives can leave a coarse texture. Flavor is great either way, though!
- Be sure to try this with our Niçoise Salad recipe.
- Salad dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance. Store in a fridge until needed. Allow the dressing to sit out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving to loosen.