Fresh Tuna Summer Salad

If the sophisticated French salade Nicoise is a svelte Parisian woman with long legs and an alluring purr, this American version is the girl next door with a low ponytail and ballet flats. What’s the difference between the two salads? A traditional Nicoise also includes an egg. But it made for an interesting introduction, didn’t it? I seldom remember the egg, but my kids love eggs so sometimes I throw them in if I want to add a bit more protein to the meal. I love this for summer because it makes the best of ripe summer produce and can be made on the grill. The kids love that each component is served on its own, in typical kid fashion. I bet the French kids feel the same way!

  • 6 small Yukon gold potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2-6 oz. fresh tuna steaks
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 pound green beans, blanched
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 cup nicoise olives
  • Chive Vinaigrette
  • Heat the grill to medium-high direct heat.
  • Rinse and dry the potatoes well, leaving the skin intact. Toss them in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them directly on the grill. After 10 minutes or so, turn them and cook for another 10 minutes. Pierce potatoes with a fork to make sure they are tender. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool. Cut into quarters to serve.
  • Brush the tuna with olive oil on both sides, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the tuna steaks on the grill to your liking. I cooked mine to medium and for a 1-1/2 inch steak, this took just a few minutes per side. Remove the tuna from the grill and set aside. Slice across the grain to serve.
  • To assemble the salad, place a small amount of mixed greens on a plate, then arrange small piles of the potatoes, tuna, tomatoes, green beans, cucumber and nicoise olives. Drizzle chive vinaigrette over the entire plate, then finish with a few cranks of fresh black pepper.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. We are eating tuna much less frequently these days, so it’s become somewhat of a treat. You may have noticed that the portion I’ve listed above is rather slight. As I do frequently with red meat, I use the tuna here more like a side dish and make the vegetables the centerpiece.
  • 2. This salad is also perfect for the lunchbox! It travels beautifully. If you skip the mixed greens, you can even dress it ahead of time and transport it dressed.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


 

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