For me the most important thing about nicoise salad is to use the very freshest tuna I can lay my hands on. And then to really only sear it so it's still quite rare in the middle. lf you think you'll be tempted to cook tuna all the way through, then use a good quality tinned tuna in oil instead - the salad will be just as delicious but in a slightly different way.
- 4 x 100 g tuna steaks
- 20 g small green beans, trimmed
- table salt
- 12 small kipfler potatoes, scrubbed
- 4 eggs
- 30 nicoise or other small black olives, pitted
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 12 fillets salted anchovies, rinsed well and halved lengthways
- 8 basil leaves, torn if large
- 1 tbls balsamic vinegar
- 90 ml olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the tuna from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
Cook the beans in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
Meanwhile, steam the potatoes over a pan of simmering water for 15 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 2 cm thick slices.
Place the eggs in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium heat. Once the water comes to the boil, cook for another 8 minutes for hard-boiled, then drain and refresh in cold water. Carefully shell the eggs, cut into quarters and set aside.
Place the beans, potato, olives, tomato, anchovies and basil in a bowl. Add the vinegar and 60 ml of the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. season the tuna with salt and pepper to taste, then, when the pan is very hot, cook the tuna for 30 seconds on each side or until just golden but still rare in the middle. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To serve, divide the salad among 4 plates, top with a piece of tuna cut in half on the diagonal and scatter with the boiled egg.
Recipe from Manu Feildel’s Manu’s French Kitchen, Lantern, RRP $49.95