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Nicoise Salad

  • servings: 8




  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing tuna
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped capers
  • 12 quail eggs
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts, stem ends trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 8 baby red or fingerling potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 pounds tuna steak, 1/2 inch thick
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 head red-leaf lettuce
  • 1 head, Boston lettuce
  • 1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup nicoise olives


  1. Step 1

    In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, anchovy paste, and capers. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl, and set aside. Place quail eggs in a medium saucepan, and cover with several inches of cold water. Place the pan, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until just before the water comes to a boil. Uncover, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring eggs gently several times to ensure even cooking. Immediately transfer the eggs, with a slotted spoon, to the ice-water bath. Let cool completely, about 5 minutes. Pat one egg dry at a time; peel, and halve. Set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Fill a medium saucepan with salted water, and bring to a boil. Cook haricots verts until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer beans to the ice-water bath. Drain well, and pat dry. Drizzle with rice-wine vinegar, and set aside.

  4. Step 4

    Heat a well-seasoned grill pan over high heat. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a medium-size pot. Cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until fork-tender, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer potatoes to the ice-water bath. Drain well, and pat dry. Cut in half lengthwise, drizzle with vermouth, and reserve.

  5. Step 5

    Lightly brush tuna with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill pan, and cook to rare, 1 or 2 minutes per side.

  6. Step 6

    Toss lettuces with some of the anchovy-caper dressing, and place on large serving platter. In a separate bowl, toss potatoes, haricots verts, and tomatoes with more dressing, and arrange over lettuce.

  7. Step 7

    Slice tuna very thinly on the diagonal, and arrange over salad. Drizzle tuna with dressing. Garnish salad with quail eggs and nicoise olives.

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