Salade niçoise

    45 min

    Waxy new potatoes are ideal for salads such as this classic, as they are firm enough to keep their shape when stirred with other ingredients. Serve with crusty French bread.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) waxy new potatoes, scrubbed
    • 340 g (12 oz) thin green beans, halved
    • 1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
    • 4 tuna steaks, 5 cm (2 in) thick, about 400 g (14 oz) in total
    • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    • lettuce leaves
    • 16 baby plum tomatoes, halved
    • 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
    • 12 black olives, stoned
    • handful of fresh basil leaves, torn if large
    • salt and pepper
    • Anchovy dressing
    • 1 can anchovy fillets, about 50 g, drained
    • 1 small garlic clove
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    Prep:45min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 10–15 minutes or until tender, adding the beans for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Cut the potatoes in half, then transfer the potatoes and beans to a mixing bowl. Add the pepper and fennel.
    2. To make the anchovy dressing, put 3 of the anchovy fillets and the peeled garlic in a food processor and process to a purée. Add the mustard, lemon juice and oil, and process until smooth. Alternatively, use a pestle and mortar, pounding the anchovies and garlic to a paste before whisking in the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat.
    3. Brush the tuna steaks with the oil and season with pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan or ridged cast-iron grill pan. Add the tuna steaks and cook over a moderately high heat for about 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Do not overcook or the tuna will be dry.
    4. Make a layer of lettuce leaves on each of 4 plates and divide the potato mixture among them. Top with the tuna steaks. Arrange the tomatoes and egg quarters around the edge and scatter over the olives and basil leaves. Finish with the rest of the anchovies, arranging 2 on top of each serving.

    Some more ideas

    Use 2–3 celery sticks instead of fennel. * Omit the anchovy garnish, and serve the salad with garlic and anchovy croutons. Spread out 8 slices of French bread on a baking sheet and toast under the grill until lightly browned on both sides. Rub one side with a cut garlic clove, then mash an anchovy fillet on top of each and spread as evenly as possible. Cut the slices in halves or into quarters, using a serrated knife, and arrange on the salad plates. * Replace the fresh tuna with 2 cans tuna in spring water, about 200 g (7 oz) each, drained and broken into chunks.

    Plus points

    Fresh tuna contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the tendency of blood to clot and thus are helpful in preventing and treating heart disease. Tuna is also an excellent source of vitamins D and B12 and a useful source of potassium. * Fennel provides useful amounts of beta-carotene, folate and potassium, as well as cancer-fighting phytochemicals. * Green beans are a good source of folate and dietary fibre.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, folate, niacin, selenium * B2, copper, iron, potassium, zinc * calcium

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