niçoise salad with tuna


Lindsey Bareham

Salade niçoise is such a fine salad meal, perfect on a sunny evening with a glass of chilled rosé. This version could be made with canned tuna (or, interestingly, with cold meaty pork sausages sliced thickly on the slant) but I’m using quickly griddled fresh fish and addictively creamy Adriatic anchovies. Adding a hint of dill with the basil is worth trying.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 15 min

400g new potatoes
4 eggs
200g green beans
4 tuna fillets
2 tbsp vegetable oil
150g cherry tomatoes
½ (half) cucumber
2 little gem lettuce hearts
100g Adriatic anchovies (in carton)
75g pitted black olives, preferably niçoise
10 mint or basil leaves
few sprigs dill
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp olive oil

Scrape the potatoes, cook in boiling salted water with the eggs, allowing about 10 min. Drain. Crack the eggs and peel under running water. Top, tail and halve the beans. Boil in salted water for 3 min. Drain. Meanwhile, place a griddle over a high heat and leave until very hot. Smear the tuna with oil, season with salt and pepper and griddle for 1-3 min each side depending on thickness.

Halve the tomatoes round their middles. Peel the cucumber, halve lengthways, use a teaspoon to scrape out seeds and slice in half moons. Separate the lettuce leaves, rinse and pat dry. Arrange a few choice leaves on a platter or in 4 wide bowls. Peel, chop then crush the garlic. Mix with 1 tablespoon vinegar, 3 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Pile cooled potatoes, beans, tomatoes, cucumber, anchovies, torn mint or basil and dill over the lettuce, add black olives, halved eggs and broken tuna. Spoon over the vinaigrette, toss as you eat.