Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Nicoise Salad with Seared Tuna (My Way)

I am going through a fish phase since I discovered that I can easily run to the Queen Vic during the lunch hour to be the best fish imaginable. I have been wanting to make something with fresh tuna for a while and I figured the classic nicoise salad would be ideal. I bought some really nice yellow fin tuna steaks and seared it quickly before tossing it into the salad.

I had all the ingredients for the nicoise salad except for the actual nicoise olives and dijon mustard. So I improvised a little with the dressing. I decided to marinate the tuna in the salad dressing and since my new thyme was growing rather nicely, I thought I would make the dressing a combination of thyme and lemon zest.

Dressing / Tuna Marinade

  1. 2 tuna steaks (about 150 g each)
  2. 2 tbsp of grassy extra virgin olive oil
  3. 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 tsp of fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  5. 2 pinches of salt
  6. 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper
  7. zest of half a lemon

Marinate the tuna in half of the dressing mixture. Preferably use your hands to massage in the marinade. Grate some lemon zest directly on the tuna steaks. Leave to marinate for about 10-20 minutes at room temperature.

Heat a frying pan to medium high heat. Sear the tuna for about one minute on each side. Remove from heat.

Salad Ingredients (for two)

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 10 green beans
  3. 6 small new potatoes
  4. 3-4 cos lettuce leaves, chopped
  5. 12 marinated olives*
  6. 1 ripe sweet tomato, chopped **

The potatoes should be about golf ball size. If they are bigger, cut into roughly the same size. Place in a saucepan with cold water and bring to boil for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Place eggs in cold water and bring to boil. Let the eggs boil for 6-7 minutes. In the pictures, I overcooked the eggs a bit but it will be much better if it’s soft-boiled.

Once the potatoes are done, spoon them out with a slotted spoon and blanch the green beans for 1 minutes and remove.

To serve, slice the tuna into halves. Toss through the other salad ingredients with the rest of the dressing and place the tuna on top.

* If you can get your hands on some nicoise olives, that would be good. I couldn’t so I just used marinated Greek-style olives from the deli. It turned out quite well.

** I usually get truss tomatoes and wait until they are really ripe between I use them. We always have them in the house because I like them on toast for breakfast.