nicoise salad with salsa verde
This is a sort of ‘deconstructed’ niçoise salad ( and the image above is particularly deconstructed as that fork has already dug in ;) that looks beautiful on the plate. If you can’t get a piece of fresh tuna, use a drained tin of dolphin-safe tuna in brine. If you do buy fresh tuna, get a fillet. This version of the classic French niçoise salad is drizzled with salsa verde, a super-easy but deliciously herby sauce that is packed with vitamins and flavour. When making the salsa verde, you can either finely chop all the herbs with a knife and then combine as shown below, or just throw everything in a food processor and just whiz together until chopped but still a bit chunky. Store any leftover salsa verde in a sealed container in the fridge. It will keep for about 2 days and is gorgeous for breakfast, drizzled over sliced avocado and tomato on toasted Turkish bread.
- 450 g (1 lb) yellowfin tuna fillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400 g (14 oz) kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 250 g (9 oz) green beans, tailed
- 1/2 cup (30 g/1 oz) parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (30 g/1 oz) basil, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (15 g/1/2 oz) watercress, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (15 g/1/2 oz) mint, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp capers, finely chopped
- 1–2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
- squeeze of lemon juice, or to taste
Heat a frying pan over high heat. Coat the entire tuna fillet in freshly ground black pepper and drizzle and coat with olive oil. Sear the tuna for 10 seconds on each side, so the outside is slightly brown, but the inside is still very pink and rare. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cook, uncovered, over high heat for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer. Drain well.
Lower eggs into a saucepan of warm water and bring to the boil, stirring to centre the yolks. Once simmering, allow the eggs to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the water, then leave to cool in cold water.
Drop beans into a pan of boiling, salted water, then cover and cook for 3–5 minutes, or until crisp but still tender. Drain immediately and refresh in iced water; drain again.
To make salsa verde, place all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice if desired. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a small blender until a dressing forms.
To assemble the salad, slice the potatoes into rounds about 1 cm (3/4 inch) thick; arrange on a serving plate with the beans. Peel eggs, then slice each one crossways into four and arrange on the plate. Thinly slice the tuna and arrange over the salad. Drizzle with about 3 tbsp of the salsa verde and serve.
Serves 4 as a light meal.
This recipe first appeared in Kate Gibbs' book After Toast: Recipes for aspiring cooks. (Allen & Unwin).