Nicoise salad, or salade Nicoise if you like to pretend you’re French, is a composed salad of fresh tuna, potato salad, egg, green beans, tomatoes, and greens that creates a stunning and satisfying summer supper.
Folks who’ve made this Nicoise salad are saying no one could believe the stunning platter didn’t come from a local bistro. Canned tuna in water or olive oil can be substituted. Originally published August 6, 2007.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Using a blender, or with a whisk in a bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, anchovy paste, and salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil until the dressing is thick and luscious. Stir in the scallions, dill, parsley, and basil.
Make the French potato salad
Boil the white and red potatoes into a large pot of salted water until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in quarters and place them in a medium bowl.
Add the 1/2 cup, or more to taste, of the vinaigrette to the potatoes while they’re still warm and toss the salad to coat. Set it off to the side and let the vinaigrette soak into the potatoes for about half an hour before using. Set the salad aside.
Assemble the nicoise salad
Heat a saute pan or stove-top grill until very hot. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill each tuna steak for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. The center should be raw but warm, or the tuna will be tough and dry.
To assemble the Nicoise salad, arrange the tuna, haricots verts, potato salad, tomatoes, eggs, olives, and anchovies on top of the arugula or watercress on a large platter and serve immediately.