Salad Niçoise

Salad Niçoise is a classic that I love–it’s something I order whenever I see it. I’ll admit that this salad is not the most exact in its attempt to be perfectly traditional, but it still channels the essentials. The tuna along with the potatoes and green beans is what makes the dish, so add whatever veggies you have around in your fridge. Try to have olives too. Here, I had some capers and carrots so I included those. Most important is a good vinaigrette and a nice piece of tuna.

IMG_5041Here I used a tuna loin that was eventually seared. I also recommend really good canned tuna if you can’t get fresh tuna.IMG_5051Smother your tuna in dijon and Herbes de Provence.IMG_5059Good lettuce and properly cooked crisp green beans will carry the dish.IMG_5068Roasted fingerlings lessen the work as you do not need to cut them. I used Cerignola olives.IMG_5098Arrange and sprinkle with capers.IMG_5154A crusty piece of bread on the side is awesome if you have it–here we just tore off pieces of an epi baguette.IMG_5106Pour the vinaigrette and bon appétit.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 Large Head Lettuce
– 1 Lb. Tuna
– 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
– 1 Tbsp. Herbs de Provence
– 10 Olives
– 1/2 Lb. Green Beans
– 1/2 Lb. Roasted Potatoes
– 1/4 Lb. Carrots
– 1 Tbsp. Capers
– 1 Tbsp. Strong Mustard
– 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
– 2 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
– 1 Lemon
– 1 Tbsp. Minced Shallots
– Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
– Hardboiled Eggs (If you have them)

DIRECTIONS

1) Wash fish and dry. Rub with dijon mustard and a small bit of olive oil. Then sprinkle with a dash of salt, pepper, and the Herbs de Provence. Heat cast iron pan or similar heavy duty pan on high. Add tuna to pan and sear–cook on each side for approximately 2-4 minutes depending upon desired level of rareness.

2) Once the tuna has been seared, remove from pan, then place on plate and put into the freezer. Let the tuna sit in the freezer until the salad is ready–the freezer will make the tuna easier to cut and stop it from cooking.

3) Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Then, add green beans, cook for five minutes, and strain into a colander. Immediately run cold water over the beans to stop them from cooking–they should be slightly crisp on the inside. Place the green beans in a small bowl and place in the refrigerator.

4) Wash potatoes and dry. Then place into a large pot and cover with cold water–there should be an inch or two of water above them. Bring to a boil–reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 20 minutes depending upon the size of your fingerling potatoes. A fork should easily pierce them when done so test them while cooking. Remove the potatoes from the water, strain, and place in a mixing bowl. Cover with a small glug of olive oil along with sea salt & fresh ground pepper. If you have some rosemary around include that. Place in fridge to cool.

5) Wash lettuce and cut into pieces with a serrated knife. Place pieces in a salad spinner and dry. Then place in large salad bowl. Top with potatoes, green beans, olives and any other vegetables or hard boiled eggs if you have them. Cut tuna into slices and sprinkle capers over the tuna.

6) In a measuring cup add olive oil, red wine vinegar, strong mustard, minced shallots and juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix with a fork or small whisk till all ingredients are blended–whisk for about one minute. Pour over the salad. Top the salad with fresh ground pepper.

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