vegetarian ‘niçoise’ recipe image

Print vegetarian ‘niçoise’

This is a vegetarian version of the Mediterranean summer classic. It uses capers in place of anchovies for saltiness – although you could use both. Marjoram is a similar herb to oregano, but slightly sweeter and with a floral aroma.

Ingredients

  • 600g new potatoes, scrubbed & cut into halves or quarters depending on size
  • 8 eggs
  • 300g French beans, topped & tailed
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in half crossways
  • 2 large spring onions, very finely sliced
  • 150g mixed salad leaves
  • About 20 pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp capers (if they are in brine, drain then soak in cold water for 20 minutes then drain)
  • Small handful of basil, shredded
  • For the dressing
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon
  • 3 or 4 fresh marjoram leaves or oregano sprigs, finely chopped
  • Salt & black pepper

Method

  1. Put the potatoes in one pan with a good pinch of salt. Put the eggs in another pan. Cover both with water and put on a medium heat. Once the eggs come to the boil, cook for 8 minutes, drain and put in a bowl of cold water. Once the potatoes come to the boil, cook for 10–12 minutes, until easily pierced with a sharp knife. Scoop the potatoes out of the water with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the beans to the potato water. Boil for 5 minutes, until they’re tender but still have a squeak when you bite into them. Drain and refresh in cold water, then drain again. To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, garlic, mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice together in a large salad bowl. Stir in the chopped marjoram or oregano, then season with salt, pepper and extra lemon juice or oil to taste.
  3. Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, spring onion, salad leaves, olives and capers to the bowl and toss together in the dressing.
  4. Peel the hardboiled eggs – doing this in water is easiest – then cut them lengthways into quarters. Using a wet knife will help keep the yolk and white together. Tuck the eggs into the salad, scatter over the basil leaves and serve.

Cooks notes

Variations * Use roasted tomatoes for extra sweetness (pictured.) * Add a few anchovies if you’re not vegetarian.
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