Salad Nicoise in Belgian Endive Cups

In Chicago these days, it feel as if summer is here. My favorite things in summer are the lake, a chilled rose, gelato ,cold beer,and amazing salads. One of my favorite salads when I lived in Paris was a Salad Nicoise. I remember on sunny days, I would order one with friends at a sidewalk cafe near school and  watch the world go by, as I munched on crisp vegetables and salty briny anchovies, olives, and capers. Lately I’ve been toying with an idea in my head. Making a micro Salad Nicoise as a small plate starter or appetizer. Rather than using lettuce, I made” boats” of Belgian Endive.  The purists would say that’s not Salad Nicoise. Well Salad Nicoise  is open to interpretation. Usually one things of lettuce greens,boiled eggs, tuna, tomato, potatoes, green beans, anchovies, capers,and black olives. There may be onion, garlic, shallots as well. Some people use artichokes, red peppers, and never add cooked vegetables. Some people omit the tuna. It’s really up to taste how you want to compose this rustic country salad based on seasons. I thought the use of endive leaves and small quail eggs would be elegant. A guest can pop these in their mouth with two or more bites, or they can eat it with a knife and fork as a small amuse bouche or starter for summer brunch. It’s all about presentation.

Salad Nicoise as a Small Appetizer
Recipe type: salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: approx 24
A small plate version of Salad Nicoise
  • 1 small potato, peeled and boiled
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons shallots minced
  • 6 quail eggs boiled
  • ½ cup green beans blanched
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of oil packed tuna of good quality
  • 1 small jar anchovy fillets
  • 7 oil cured olives pitted and sliced into small quarters
  • salt packed capers
  • 2-3 heads Belgian Endive
  • For the dressing...
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel and Boil a small potato. Remove from hot water and carefully slice and cube.
  2. Add to a small bowl with the minced shallots, Italian Seasoning, Sherry Vinegar, and Olive Oil,salt and pepper. Set aside and chill.
  3. Boil Quails Eggs for approx 5 minutes and remove from heat. Peel and set aside and chill.
  4. Prep green beans by cutting trimming ends and cutting in half, then slicing lengthwise.
  5. Place green beans in rapidly boiling salted water for 1 minute . Drain and run cold water over them. Set aside and chill.
  6. Quarter the small cherry or grape tomatoes in bite size pieces. Set aside and chill.
  7. Pit and prep your olives.
  8. Wash the Belgian Endive. Cut off the flat ends. Gently pull each leave from top , and out to break away from the head. 2 heads makes approx 15 nice size "boats"
  9. Arrange your Mise en place with all the components ( potato shallot mixture, boiled quail eggs,tomatoes, olives, tuna, anchovies, capers)
  10. Make a vinaigrette emulsion with the olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. (Use a whisk or immersion blender).
  11. Carefully take a endive leaf.
  12. Add a small spoon full of the potato shallot mixture in oil. Spread evenly
  13. Add a few flakes of tuna.
  14. Carefully slice a quail egg and place a few slices on top
  15. Arrange 2 tomato quarters.
  16. Add 2 pieces of green bean.
  17. Cut an anchovy fillet in half and place a piece on top.
  18. Add a few slices of olive,
  19. Finish with a few capers.
  20. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing and serve cold.
All the components can be prepped ahead and chilled.



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3 thoughts on “Salad Nicoise in Belgian Endive Cups

  1. Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions

    These look absolutely dee-lish! Stopping by from the FoodieBlogRoll where I’ve just signed up. Looking forward to all that they have to offer. And glad that I’m in the midst of getting signed (up), otherwise I would’ve never met you.

    Nice to eMeet you, Coco! Have a wonderful upcoming week.
    I thoroughly enjoyed looking around your blog. It’s awesome!

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