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Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad with Fresh Grilled Tuna

1/2 pound
green beans, blanched
3/4 cup
extra virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves, minced
large onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rings
2 cup s
roasted bell peppers cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 cup
Niçoise Salad Dressing (see separate recipe)
3/4 pound
small new potatoes, boiled
2 cup s
mixed red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
slices French bread, preferably sourdough
garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoon s
herbed goat cheese
4 teaspoon s
olive tapenade (see separate recipe)
(12-ounce) tuna steaks about 1 inch thick, seasoned with freshly cracked coriander seeds, cracked black pepper, and kosher salt
8 cup s
mixed baby lettuces, washed and dried
1/2 cup
pitted Niçoise olives
eggs, hard boiled, peeled and quartered
anchovy fillets
  1. Season the blanched beans with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Reserve in a bowl.  
  2. In a small saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute the onions until caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve in a bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, toss together the roasted pepper strips and 1/4 cup Niçoise Salad Dressing. (See separate recipe.) Reserve.  
  4. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch round slices. Place in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup Niçoise Salad Dressing and toss until well blended. Reserve.  
  5. In a small bowl, toss together the tomatoes and 1/4 cup Niçoise Salad Dressing. Reserve.  
  6. To make Crostini: Arrange the bread slices in a baking tray. Brush with olive oil and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for six to eight minutes. Allow to cool, then rub with garlic clove. For each of the crostini, spread 1 tablespoon herbed goat cheese and top with 1 teaspoon olive tapenade.  
  7. Heat a charcoal or gas grill until very hot. Brush the tuna fillets with olive oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes each side searing the outside but keeping the centers rare. Remove from heat and allow to rest before slicing each tuna fillet into 6 slices.  
  8. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the mixed baby lettuces with 1/4 cup Niçoise Salad Dressing.

Divide the green beans, onion, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and olives into 4 portions and arrange in a dramatic fan around the rim of each plate. Then arrange the eggs and finally the anchovies. Mound a quarter of the lettuce in the center of each plate. Arrange tuna slices around the sides of the salad and finish the salad by placing a crostini on top. Be as creative as you can!

In France they’d drink a cold Provencal red, a Bandol or Cote de Provence with a Salad Nicoise. But if you haven’t got these wines in your cellar look to a Californian Zinfandel or Niebaum-Coppola’s Sangenovese.

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About this Recipe

There are as many recipes for Nicoise salad as there are restaurants in the South of France. I always use the best tuna, so it can be grilled rare, and I put both herbed goat cheese and tapenade on the crostini to remind me of my days in Provence.

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