This flavorful and protein-packed Tuna Nicoise Salad was inspired by the one that originated in the city of Nice on the French Riviera back in the late 19th century. Originally, the salad was composed of Nicoise olives, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies or tuna with a dressing made of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and fine herbs. This Mediterranean dish became widely popular in the early 20th century, with many variations of what components/ingredients should and shouldn’t be included, if it should be a composed or tossed salad, or only raw vegetables or cooked ones so on.
My advice? Do whatever suits your appetite! Isn’t that the way we learn what we like best anyways?! Just make sure that when putting together this or any salad that you have different textures, colors, and flavors that complement each other.
For this version of Nicoise, I like to use marble potatoes and green beans (both at their peak in Summer), sweet cherry tomatoes (substitute with Sweet 100’s or Sun Gold tomatoes during the middle of Summer), peppery watercress, briny black olives, and caperberries. Top it all off with creamy egg yolks and freshly seared Tuna. So good and good for you!
Step 1 -
To make the dressing/vinaigrette combine all the ingredients and whisk together until emulsified.
Step 2 -
In a medium size saucepan add an inch of water and bring it to boil. Once the water is boiling add the egg straight from your fridge, cover it with a lid and let the egg boil for 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon or ladle, pull the eggs out of the pan and place them straight into an ice bath until cold. Remove from the ice water, peel them and cut in half, set aside.
Step 3 -
In the same saucepan add more water, salt and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the green bean and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using the slotted spoon remove the green beans and place them in the ice bath. Once cold, about 3 minutes, remove from ice water, pat dry, and cut in half lengthwise, set aside.
Step 4 -
Add the potatoes to the boiling water and simmer for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, but still firm. Remove potatoes from the boiling water and let cool at room temperature. Once cooled, cut them in half.
Step 5 -
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat sear the tuna steaks for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Let it cool off, slice, and set aside.
Step 6 -
In a large mixing bowl combine potatoes, green beans, olives, cherry tomatoes, watercress, and parsley. Season with salt freshly ground black pepper and half of the dressing, toss gently to combine well, and serve. Arrange hard-boiled eggs, caper berries, and sliced tuna on top.
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