|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
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.
- 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
- Season the blanched beans with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Reserve in a bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, toss together the roasted pepper strips and 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing. Reserve.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, toss together the tomatoes and 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing. Reserve.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the mixed baby lettuces with 1/4 cup Niçoise salad dressing.
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!
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.