Romantic Indoor Valentine’s Picnic Featuring Nicoise Salad

stefscupofteaIt’s Romance week; dedicated to all hearts filled with love and devotion. Are you searching for ways to whisk away your Valentine to Romance land? Why not try an indoor picnic at home? Where you ask? Look no further than your living room floor…
Lay out a crisp, new tablecloth, scatter with rose petals, light a few candles, pop open a bottle of bubbly and have a Nicoise salad all prepared in advance for serving. Speak of adventures of your past loving moments with one another and be taken away into the valley of love…
Judy Garland from a scene in “My Funny Valentine”

“It was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.

It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”

~Judy Garland

nicoise-salad-3Nicoise Salad 

Yield: Serves 6.


Lemon Vinaigrette

1/2 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves

2 Tbsp minced fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2-3 cans of tuna, drained…may use freshly grilled tuna, sliced

6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered

10 small new red potatoes (each about 2 inches in diameter, about 1 1/4 pounds total), each potato scrubbed and quartered

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces

3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths

1 small red onion, sliced very thin

8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise; blanched

1/2 cup roasted red peppers

1/4 cup niçoise olives

2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 4 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt and cook until potatoes are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain. Toss warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate pot, add a quart of water and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil. Add the green beans to the pot. Blanch until tender but still a little firm, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the beans from the pot and place in ice water to stop the cooking. After about 30 seconds, drain the beans. Toss the beans in 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and add salt and pepper to taste.

While potatoes and green beans are cooking, toss lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in large bowl until coated. Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter (I used two serving platters, shown in the photos). Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices, coat with vinaigrette. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Toss tomatoes, red onion and red peppers in 3 tablespoons vinaigrette; add salt and pepper to taste in bowl; arrange tomato/onion/red pepper mixture on the lettuce bed. Arrange the  potatoes and green beans in mounds at edge of lettuce bed.

Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tablespoons dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using), and serve immediately.

Picnic photo source: stefscupoftea


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Very nice 🙂 You are such a romantic, Lana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Thanks, Lynne! And you are such a sweetheart!! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lynn! A little bit of romance is mostly harmless, right?? lol! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Osyth says:

    And a very fine Niçoise it is too if I may say so …. loving the idea of a carpet-nic with rose petals and candles for V-day – I may steal it … even my Valentine-phobic husband must melt at this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! Steal away, my friend 🙂 ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beautiful presentation! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ronit! Somehow a table setting on the living room floor can be quite appealing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It definitely works! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. cynthiamvoss says:

    Very sweet! We did an indoor picnic one year, it was fun. This recipe looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Cynthia! Indoors this time of year is much preferred! Brrrr! lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Antonia says:

    This is a lovely idea. Since we don’t have a babysitter this weekend, this is perfect 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Antonia! I’m so glad to be able to help! Babysitters and time alone is a commodity!


  6. Love the presentation Lana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Marisa! Have table cloth, will travel! lol! At least to the living room 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol, that is too funny Lana 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Gorgeous salad! We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house (because I finally figured out hubby is cheap, lol), but respect the tradition for others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha! Kathryn! Thanks a bunch! We wives tend to become a “given” on Valentine’s Day, I’m afraid 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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