Niçoise Salad with Grilled Fresh Spiced Tuna and a Dijon Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds fresh tuna, best quality, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons spicy seasoning, see note, or your favorite variety
- 9 cups fresh lettuce, see note, washed and dried - 1 1/2 cups per person
- 3 medium fresh tomatoes, washed, and sliced - heirloom or colorful cherry variety
- ½ pound green beans, trimmed
- ½ pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
- 3 jumbo eggs, cooked and peeled and sliced
- 2 medium persian cucumber, cleaned, about 1 cup sliced
- 1 pound mixed baby potatoes, scrubbed, red, yellow & purple
- 2 medium golden beets, cooked, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 3 whole anchovy fillets, chopped, or to taste
- ½ cup nicoise olives, pitted, coarsely chopped, or your favorite type
- ¼ cup fresh chives, washed and chopped (try asian chives)
- ¼ cup fresh dill, cleaned and chopped
- One recipe Dijon Lemon Vinaigrette (see below)
For individual servings of this salad: have 6 coupe bowl (wide open bowls) ready on the counter.
Marinate the tuna by rubbing it on a plate to fit with the olive oil and seasoning. Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours. Grill the tuna over high heat, inside or outside.
Turn over when strong grill marks appear. Turn the heat down to low. Cook briefly on second side, under 1 minute for a rare interior. Remove to a clean plate, cool.
Cook some vegetables: steam the 2 beans until tender crisp. Refresh under cool water, set aside. Cook the potatoes in simmering water, covered until done (test with a small knife). Refresh under cool water, set aside. Simmer the beets as well until done when pierced with a fork, peel, cool and slice.
Line the plates with the ingredients you have prepared for the salad. Portion the lettuce, tomato, two beans, eggs, cucumbers, potatoes, beets and red onions in rows, or what looks good to you. Top with the grilled tuna, cut into long slices. Garnish with the anchovies, nicoise olives, chives and dill. Thin julienne of watermelon radish is a special garnish as well; a little spicy with a bright magenta interior.
Serve with the vinaigrette and enjoy.
Lettuce: Use a combination of your favorite lettuce such as boston lettuce, lola rosa and baby arugula.
Seasoning: Latin Style Spice Mix Seasoning (my all purpose seasoning recipe)