Salade Nicoise at French Meadow in Minneapolis

Joshua Page / Heavy Table
Joshua Page / Heavy Table

Salade nicoise isn’t exciting, but when done right, it’s a really satisfying meal — and never more so than when paired with iced tea on a sweltering late summer day. It’s not that we’d forgotten this classic, but in tracking down the latest trends we had sort of forgotten it. The loss was entirely ours. Over a recent lunch at the French Meadow Bakery & Cafe in Minneapolis, we rediscovered the French bistro classic (“in the style of Nice”) and its many pleasures.

At $15, Fresh Meadow’s nicoise isn’t cheap. But it’s hearty and includes impeccable ingredients. A good-sized portion of expertly seared ahi tuna goes a long way toward justifying the price, as do the juicy, super flavorful roasted tomatoes (far better than the desiccated, sun-dried tomatoes so popular in the 1990s). A lemon-herb vinaigrette and a mixture of olives brighten the dish and add briny zip. Rounded out with purple fingerling potatoes and a whole, hard-boiled egg, the salad avoids the perennial problem of its genre by being substantial enough to make for a satisfying and filling entree. Oh, and we can’t forget the crisp-yet-tender French green beans that provide great texture and subtle sweetness.

French Meadow could make this delicious salad even better by adding or offering anchovies — a key element of traditional salade nicoise — for a touch of funkiness. But even though we missed the funky fish, we’ll be back for this straightforward, healthy, and delicious summer treat.

French Meadow Bakery & Cafe, 2610 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis (and other locations); 651.789.8870




  1. Javier del Bosco

    Ah, anchovies… I will never understand why so many Minnesotans are afraid of them. Even most pizza places don’t offer them here. You’re missing out, fellow citizens!
    We look forward to trying this dish. Thanks.

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