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Nicoise salad with Tuna steak and soft boiled eggs

Nicoise salad with Tuna steak and soft boiled eggs

Salad Nicoise probably takes the title of greatest salads of them all, particularly when made with fresh, thick cut Tuna steak. The traditional French combination originated in Nice, dating back to the early 20th century.

It always breaks my heart to see sad petrol station salads covered in tinned tuna and drenched in an oily dressing. If you ask me, Salad Nicoise deserves a healthy sized, perfect pink tuna steak, topped off with a soft boiled egg. This recipe is the real deal and a total crowd pleaser on a sunny summers day.

This will make enough for 4 but you can very easily scale up and down as you wish. 
 

Ingredients:

  • 600g Tuna cut in to steaks 
  • 6 Eggs 
  • 4 Baby gem lettuces 
  • 100g Bag pea shoots 
  • 200g cherry tomatoes 
  • 100g French beans 
  • 100g Black marinated olives 
  • 250g New potatoes (optional) 
  • 15 Anchovies 
  • A handful of capers

For the vinaigrette; 

  • 1 Lemon 
  • 75ml Olive oil 
  • 75ml Rapeseed oil 
  • 75ml White wine vinegar 
  • 2 Large shallots 
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard 
  • 1 Tbsp Caster sugar 
  • Salt  

Method: 

  1. Start but making the vinaigrette, it tastes so much better if you give the flavours time to combine and develop. Try and make it the evening before if possible. 
     
  2. Slice the shallots as fine as possible and place in a bowl with the salt. Cover with vinegar, both oils and stir well until combined. Add I the mustard, lemon juice and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and chill overnight but remember to remove from the fridge at least an hour before serving. 
     
  3. Now on the salad. If using new potatoes, I usually only do this if I'm making the salad as an evening meal or I'm feeding a lot of people, cut into bite size pieces and boil until soft but with a slight bite. Remove from the heat, drain and leave to cool. 
     
  4. Tail the French beans and steam for five minutes. Slice if you wish, I like mine whole. 
     
  5. Cut the bottom off and wash the baby gem then separate the leaves into a large serving bowl. Add in the pea shoots, sliced cherry tomatoes, French beans, olives and cooked potatoes. Remember, presentation is paramount in this dish so be tactical. Drizzle a healthy dose of the vinaigrette over the base salad and add an extra squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt, combine with your hands so the leaves get a light touch throughout. 
     
  6. Boil your eggs for 5 1/2 minutes and plunge straight into cold water so they stop cooking, you want these to be slight soft in the middle. I'll leave you to peel... 
     
  7. Slice and scatter your delicious eggy goodness on top of the salad and decorate each slice with an anchovy fillet. 
     
  8. Now the tuna steak, treat it with care! Place your griddle pan on a high heat and brush with a healthy spattering of olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper to each side of your tuna steak and flash fry on each side until you have a nice brown colour with deep griddle marks. Don’t overcook, you want it to be pink in the middle, it should take a couple of minutes on each side.
     
  9. Break the steak up into large chunks and scatter across your salad. Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice and serve the vinaigrette on the side. Yum.
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