Tuna Nicoise Salad
Thanks to El Nino, our So Cal coast is sizzling hot with bluefin tuna. And thanks to the French, I have a great tuna recipe to share, the tuna nicoise salad (pronounced nee-swaw). Bluefin tuna is included in many French fish dishes but this fish salad is loved and eaten across the Mediterranean.
Tuna nicoise salad comes from two of the Mediterranean food baskets, the sea and the garden. It combines seared tuna with fresh seasonal vegetables, boiled eggs, and potatoes. Served cold, the finishing touch is the olive oil-mustard homemade salad vinaigrette! It's easy to make and way tasty!
Learn how easy it is to stock your pantry in order to make any international fish dish, especially a Mediterranean fish dish, just like this one! Check out The Right Pantry Items.
Here's my fishing mentor, Adi and his 40 pound bluefin on his deck from San Diego's waters.
Bluefin Nicoise Salad (serves 2-4)
1lb bluefin tuna fillet 3/4 inch thick (yellowfin optional)
2 eggs, hard boiled
2 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
1 red bell pepper julienned
1 cucumber seeded and cut into half moons
1 green onion chopped
3 red potatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, ends cut
Head of lettuce
2-4 tablespoons of capers
5-10 pieces of salted anchovies (I used homemade gravlox)
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of mustard
Coarse black pepper
Make the Tuna Nicoise Salad
1. Boil the eggs by placing the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat and cover for 10 minutes. Then, peel and quarter.
2. Place the potatoes in cold salted water and boil until you can pierce with a knife. Now, drain and allow to cool. Slice into rounds wetting the knife with each cut to ensure clean slices. Finally, place the cut potatoes in a separate bowl and toss in green onions.
3. Boil salted water and blanch the green beans for no more than 3-4 minutes. Remove the green beans and place them in a bowl of ice water for 1-2 minutes. Then, drain and set aside.
4. In a large salad bowl, combine the red bell peppers, green beans and cucumbers. Add anchovy fillets.
Make the Vinaigrette
5. To create the vinaigrette, or salad dressing, smash the garlic cloves with a pinch of kosher salt into a paste. Then, in a small mixing bowl combine red wine vinegar with the smashed garlic, pepper, juice of one lemon, mustard and mix. Now, slowly whisk in the olive oil. Remember, taste for saltiness and acidity. Start by coating the red bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers and anchovy fillets with the dressing. Next, do the same for the bowl containing potatoes and green onions. And finally, save a small amount of dressing to drizzle on the tuna at the end.
6. Now for the tuna. Season the tuna fillets with salt and pepper. With a sizzling hot frying pan, sear the tuna fillet in a small amount of olive oil. Remember, only cook the fillets for no more than a minute on each side. Allow to cool, then cut ¼ inch slices. What are you looking for? That's easy, cooked edges and raw tuna in the center.
Putting It All Together
7. Start by laying a bed of lettuce on a large serving platter. Then, place the dressed red bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers and anchovy fillets in the center. Now, around the outer edges of the platter, place the tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and dressed potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the tomatoes and eggs. Then place the sliced tuna on top and sprinkle capers over the entire salad. Finally, pour the remaining salad dressing over the tuna slices and serve. Enjoy, my family certainly did!
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KITCHEN GADGETS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS RECIPE 🌶
➤ 12-inch Chef's Knife
➤ Wusthof Pro Cook’s Knife 12-inch
➤ Multi-Purpose Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper
➤ Pyrex 1-cup & 2-cup Measuring Cups
➤ Morton Kosher Salt 3lbs
➤ Adjustable Pepper Grinder, Clear
➤ Spicy World Black Peppercorn 16-oz bag
➤ Commercial Plastic Cutting Board 24"x18"
➤ Cuda 9” Flex Fillet Knife
➤ Cuda 10" Fillet Knife
➤ Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2L
➤ Italian Red Wine Vinegar 17-oz
➤Rectangular Prep and Serving Tray 19.5x11.5”
PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT USED 🎥
➤ Canon EOS 70D Food Photography & Video
➤ GoPro HERO4 Black