As I was flipping through our latest issue of The Food Network magazine while at the beach with my girlfriends on Saturday, one particular recipe caught my eye. Once I read through it, I just knew I had to add this recipe to our meal plan for the week. Last night we made a spin on a niçoise salad for dinner, and it did not disappoint.

I believe that a traditional niçoise salad involves green beans, tuna, anchovies, eggs, tomatoes, and potatoes – but I’m not certain. This is a spin on the traditional version because instead of tuna we used shrimp, and some of the other “usual” ingredients were eliminated in lieu of others. Either way, I enjoyed switching things up from our typical dinner choices and trying something new.

Grilled Shrimp Nicoise SaladGrilled Shrimp “Niçoise” Salad

Recipe serves 4


For the shrimp

  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1.5 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 4 ounces of yellow wax beans, trimmed
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed
  • 1 pound of fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • S&P to taste


  1. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted cold water to a boil. Add the yellow and green beans, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just crisp. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Let sit in the ice water for a few minutes, and then drain well.
  3. Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with salted cold water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are almost cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and let cool slightly.
  4. Heat your grill to high. Then, once cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes lengthwise, brush with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and grill until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Keep the grill on.
  5. Combine the cooked beans, grilled potatoes, tomatoes, onion, basil and parsley in a large bowl. 
  6. Mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette together, then add to the bowl with the beans and potatoes. Gently toss to combine and then season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the shrimp.
  7. To make the spice rub for the shrimp, combine all the seasonings with the s&p in a bowl. Then put the shrimp in a large bowl and toss with the spice rub until evenly coated.  Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and toss to coat. Place the shrimp on the grates of the grill in an even layer and grill until golden brown and slightly charred, 1.5-2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 45 seconds to 1 minute longer.
  8. Divide the salad among four plates and top with the shrimp, and enjoy!

Grilled Shrimp Nicoise SaladFor all you lettuce haters out there, this salad is for you!  I liked how I didn’t feel like I was eating a salad because there were no lettuce or greens involved besides the green beans. For me that’s important because I get easily bored with lettuce salads as part of healthy eating. I also really enjoyed the crunch of the ingredients as well as the flavor of the vinaigrette. It tasted very much like a honey mustard dressing, except no mayo was involved (score). I will definitely be making both this salad and the dressing again. One thing, this recipe makes more dressing than you might need, so same some for leftovers! If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!

What comes to mind when you think of a niçoise salad?