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Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad Recipe

Servings: 4

The beautifully composed salads, which were served by the first garde mangers in the early French restaurants, are still popular today. This is a modern salad that has its roots in an historic preparation.

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 anchovy fillet, mashed
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. pure olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 4 cups mixed greens, washed and dried
  • 1/2 lb. small new potatoes, halved, cooked and cooled
  • 1/2 lb haricots verts, blanched in salted water and cooled
  • cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pitted nicoise olives
  • 8 white anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tbsp. capers
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4- 6oz. pieces fresh sushi-quality Ahi tuna
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar or cruet and place the cap on tightly.
  2. Shake well to blend and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Place the eggs in a medium sized pot and add cold water so that it comes an inch over the top of the eggs.
  4. Place the eggs on high heat and bring to a boil.
  5. As soon as the water begins to boil cover the eggs and move the pot to a cool burner.
  6. Set a timer for 12 minutes.
  7. When the timer goes off drain the water off of the eggs and cool under cold running water until cool enough to handle.
  8. Fill pot with cold water and let the eggs continue to cool off.
  9. Place a large sauté pan over high heat.
  10. Rub the tuna filets all over with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  11. When the pan is very hot, place the tuna in it and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned (it should still be quite rare inside).
  12. Remove the tuna from the pan and allow it to rest on a cutting board.
  13. To assemble the salad, place the potatoes, haricot vert, olives, anchovies, capers, and red onions in a large bowl.
  14. Drizzle about half of the vinaigrette into the bowl and toss the ingredients with it. Taste and add more vinaigrette and salt and pepper as needed.
  15. Place a cup of mixed greens on each of 4 plates and arrange the potatoes, haricot vert, olives, anchovies, capers, red onions, and tomatoes nicely atop the greens. You can keep each in its own separate pile or distribute the vegetables randomly.
  16. Peel the eggs and cut into quarters and place 4 quarters on each plate.
  17. Slice the tuna into thin medallions and arrange on each of the plates.
  18. Drizzle the plates with more vinaigrette and serve.