Tuna Nicoise Salad

You can’t beat a tuna nicoise for a healthy, chic dinner. Because it’s French and everything French is stylish (even that ex-policeman Georges, from Master Chef, who looked a bit like a robber) this is worth making with precision and TLC.

As much as I just wanted to chuck everything in a bowl and eat it quickly, I made myself prep this with a bit more care, using tips from Nigel Slater’s and Simon Hopkinson’s websites. I even blanched the tomatoes and peeled them (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d see myself write.)

Here’s what you need:
For salad:
baby gem lettuce
6 black olives per person
green beans
4 vine tomatoes per person
4/5 anchioves per person
tuna steak/s
organic free range egg per person

For dressing:
3 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice
minced clove of garlic
1tbsp dijon mustard
2tbsp white wine vinegar

Here’s what you do:

Preheat oven to 200.
Drizzle a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper onto your tuna steaks and wrap them in a tinfoil parcel.
Pop them in oven for 8-10 mins, check on their progress at the 8-min mark. I like my tuna well done so cooked the steaks for 10-12 mins.
Steam your green beans for 3-4 mins. I like mine crunchyish.
Slice a little X into the bottom of your toms if you want to blanch and peel them like I did (fiddlyish but satisfying, and good on the taste buds).
Then with a holey spoon dip them into the boiling green bean water for 30 secs, take them out and peel the skin off (using the X).
Next wash your salad leaves, dry with kitchen towel to prevent soggy lettuce (no one likes a limp lettuce) and place in bowl, top with your skinless tomatoes.
Slice your black olives in half and place artsilly on leaves, then your green beans.
Then position your anchioves (if you like them) and chuck in some capers.
6 mins before your tuna is due to come out, boil your egg for 4-6 mins, depending on how runny you like it.
When done, peel, cut into quarters and stick in your salad.
Whisk your dressing ingredients together, until it looks almost creamy.
Get your tuna out of the oven, place a steak on top of your salad and pour on your dressing.
Feel a bit French and sophisticated. Mmmmmmm…

Tuna Nicoise Salad Stats
Kitchen cock-ups: maybe I should have taken the tuna out at the 11-min mark. One of these days I will time my fish perfectly!
Listened to: Lateness of the Hour by Alex Clare. Two facts about Alex Clare: 1) he’s the guy who sings that big drum & bass song from the Microsoft advert. 2) he used to go out with Amy Winehouse. 3) My sister used to serve him beer back in the day when she worked at the Hawley Arms and he’s apparently a very nice bloke. Oh that was 3 facts.
The end.


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