Salad Niçoise

salad nicoise

Salad Niçoise is one of my favourite salads, just because it has so many ingredients that I love. Classically, this French salad composed of tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives and anchovies dressed in a vinaigrette. The word ‘Niçoise’ means of or pertaining to Nice in South of France. So, be it salad or any other dishes made/served à la niçoise, they are normally characterised by common ingredients like olives, olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, green beans, potatoes and anchovies.

There are many variations to Salad Niçoise. However, when comes to classic dishes, I like to follow as closely as possible to how it has been prepared and served. Some use canned tuna. If possible, fresh tuna would be absolutely a great addition – it just brings a whole load of freshness to the salad. When comes to anchovies, I just think the sodium level is too much for me. One drained anchovies in oil is said to contain 147mg sodium. This is only the drawback of canned anchovies while fresh anchovies have no nutritional disadvantage at all.

I chose to use cherry tomatoes as they are sweeter; and Jersey new potatoes that have unique flavour that comes from Jersey’s fertile earth. Anyway, you’d enjoy this salad very much even if you choose to use other tomatoes or potatoes, it’s just another comfort dish that I don’t mind eating every so often!

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salad nicoise

Salad Niçoise

Yield: 2 persons

Ingredients:

150g small new potatoes
100g fine green beans
1 tbsp olive oil
250g fresh tuna
2 hard boiled eggs
2 baby gem lettuces
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g pitted olives
some mint leaves
salt and pepper

For dressing:
Juice of half lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid on and shake to mix. Set aside.

2. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 mins until tender, then drain and set aside. Cook the beans in boiling salted water for 4-5 mins until tender with a slight crunch. Drain, tip into iced water, then drain again and set aside.

3. Place a pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Season the tuna with salt and pepper, put in the pan then sear for 6 mins, leaving it undisturbed in the pan to brown. Turn over and continue to cook for 6 mins on the other side. The tuna will be rate. If you prefer well done, add another 4 mins on each side. Set the tuna aside to rest.

4. Cut the potatoes in half and separate the leaves of gem lettuce. Then, pour the dressing to a salad bowl, toss to mix with potatoes, green beans, baby gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes and putted olives. Arrange the potatoes, baby gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes and olives onto individual plates. Then, put some of the green beans on top. Slice the tuna in half at a slight angle and arrange around the leaves. Garnish with some mint leaves if you wish.