Nicoise Salad



A while ago, we introduced Tilapia to our menus. A fish one of our colleagues used to catch with her father on the rivers in Kenya. It is a delicately flavoured white fish that is now more readily available in the UK.

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian


  • 400 g baby new potatoes, skin on, scrubbed & halved
  • 450 g fine green beans, trimmed
  • 8 quails eggs
  • x4 tilapia fillets, skinned & boned
  • cracked black pepper
  • x4 red peppers, de seeded and cut into julienne strips
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 40g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 150 g baby spinach, washed
  • 2 tbsp (60g) black nicoise olives, pitted



  • Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until almost cooked.  Drain.
  • Steam the green beans for 5 minutes or until tender then drain and plunge into ice water.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, cook the quails eggs in a pan of simmering water for 3 minutes until softly boiled.
  • Drain and cover in cold water. When cool enough to handle, shell and cut in half.
  • Season the tilapia fillets with cracked black pepper.  Place them on a non-stick roasting tray with the red peppers and roast for 10 minutes until the fish is just cooked and the peppers are soft.  Remove from the oven.
  • While the fish is cooking, make the pesto. Place the pine nuts, basil, olive oil and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and blitz to a puree.

To serve:

Make a bed of spinach in your serving bowl. Place the potatoes and the green beans in the middle. Top with the fish and scatter the red pepper over. Drizzle the pesto over the salad and scatter the olives and quails eggs around the plate.

Balance Box tip:

If you can’t find Tilapia easily, use sea bream or sea bass instead.

This recipe was taken from Jennifer Irvine’s book ‘The Diet for Food Lovers’. Available to buy here.