Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

I was thinking about that salad from Public School 805….that Nicoise Albacore Salad and decided I need to make that.  I went to Gelson’s yesterday thinking, well I know they must have Albacore- a hard fish to find and I guess now they only do special orders on that fish because it is so expensive for these grocery store’s to purchase.  Anyhow, after some serious thinking and the guy behind the counter laughing at my contemplation of this turn of events….lol   I told him I will try to do this Nicoise salad with the Ahi Tuna, it was on sale which is the only way I”ll buy that expensive fish.  I love it when the guys at the grocery stores fish through the stack and finds the best pieces.  This salad came out so good, I followed the directions from Simply Recipes, but I decided next time I will definitely stick to my dressing- I love using Walnut flavored Olive Oil in my salads now- it’s that nuttiness that I love.  This salad is good,  I loved all the fresh ingredients in it- I wanted that walnut oil flavor and I even put some aside to have for lunch today in which I’m going to just drizzle walnut oil with some balsamic vinegar for the dressing.  I also added to my recipe avocado and toasted pine nuts. :))

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Nicoise Salad Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano or tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salad

  • 2 grilled or otherwise cooked tuna steaks* (8 oz each) or 2-3 cans of tuna
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 pounds small young red potatoes or fingerling potatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium heads Boston lettuce or butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and/or several anchovies (optional)

METHOD

*Marinate tuna steaks in a little olive oil for an hour. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, or place on a hot grill. Cook the steaks 2 to 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

1 In a jar, place the oil, lemon juice or vinegar, shallots, herbs, and mustard. Cover with a lid and shake until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2 Place onion slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette. (The onions soaking in the vinaigrette will help take some of the bite out of them.)

3 Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Add 1 Tbsp of salt. Heat on high to bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain. While the potatoes are still warm, cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the potatoes. Place them in a bowl and dress them with about 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.

4 While the potatoes are cooking, fill a medium sized pot halfway with water, and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Add the green beans to the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite, about 3-5 minutes (more or less, depending on the toughness of the beans). Drain and either rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, or shock for half a minute in ice water.

5 Arrange bed of lettuce on a serving platter (I used two serving platters, shown in the photos). Cut tuna into 1/2-inch thick slices. Mound tuna in center of lettuce. Sprinkle the tomatoes and onions around the tuna. Arrange the  potatoes and green beans in mounds at the edge of the lettuce.

6 Arrange hard boiled eggs, olives, and anchovies (if using) in mounds on the lettuce bed. Drizzle everything with the remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with capers if using.

Serve immediately. Should be served slightly warm or at room temperature.

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