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Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad with Fresh Grilled Tuna
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Blanch the beans by immersing them in boiling water for about 1 minute.
Remove the beans from the boiling water and plunge them into iced water for a few seconds to shock them.
To caramelize onions, saute them in olive oil over medium heat until they turn golden brown.
First rub the crostini with garlic clove, then spread herbed goat cheese and tapenade on top to complete.

Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad with Fresh Grilled Tuna

Serves 4

There are as many recipes for Nicoise salad as there are restaurants in the South of France. I always use the best tuna, so it can be grilled rare, and I put both herbed goat cheese and tapenade on the crostini to remind me of my days in Provence.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound green beans, blanched
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rings
  • 2 cups roasted bell peppers cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 cup Niçoise Salad Dressing
  • 3/4 pound small new potatoes, boiled
  • 2 cups mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 slices French bread, preferably sourdough
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons herbed goat cheese
  • 4 teaspoons Black and Green Olive Tapenade
  • Two 12-ounce tuna steaks about 1 inch thick, seasoned with freshly cracked coriander seeds, cracked black pepper, and kosher salt to taste
  • 8 cups mixed baby lettuces, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and quartered
  • 8 anchovy fillets

Niçoise Salad Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Sugar
Method
  1. Season the blanched beans with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Reserve in a bowl.
  2. In a small saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onions until caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve in a bowl.
  3. Make the Niçoise salad dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and shallots. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, toss together the roasted pepper strips and 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing. Reserve.
  5. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch round slices. Place in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing and toss until well blended. Reserve.
  6. In a small bowl, toss together the tomatoes and 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing. Reserve.
  7. To make crostini: Arrange the bread slices in a baking tray. Brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool, then rub with garlic clove. For each of the crostini, spread 1 tablespoon herbed goat cheese and top with 1 teaspoon olive tapenade.
  8. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until very hot. Brush the tuna fillets with olive oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes each side searing the outside but keeping the centers rare. Remove from heat and allow to rest before slicing each tuna fillet into 6 slices.
  9. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the mixed baby lettuces with 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing.
Presentation

Divide the green beans, onion, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and olives into 4 portions and arrange in a dramatic fan around the rim of each plate. Then arrange the eggs and finally the anchovies. Mound a quarter of the lettuce in the center of each plate. Arrange tuna slices around the sides of the salad and finish the salad by placing a crostini on top. Be as creative as you can!

Wine Recommendation:

In France they’d drink a cold Provencal red, a Bandol or Cote de Provence with a Salad Nicoise. But if you haven’t got these wines in your cellar look to a Californian Zinfandel or Niebaum-Coppola’s Sangenovese.
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