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LABOR DAY WEEK! Trying to be a little healthier? Try Tuna!

September 4, 2010

This is a Tuna Salad, Nicoise style. It’s a great recipe for your Labor Day extravaganza. For those of you looking for something light and fresh or for those people that only eat fish, this dish is just fantastic.

This is my take on a Nicoise salad, but mine has freshly seared tuna, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes from our garden, and green and yellow wax beans. It’s a dish that truly tastes like summer.

Tuna Salad, Nicoise Style (serves 4)

(adapted from Tyler Florence’s Eat This Book)


1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp dijon mustard

1.5 T red wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/2 T minced fresh tarragon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

This is a nice versatile dressing that pairs incredibly well with fish and poultry. Combine the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and tarragon in a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly stream in the extra virgin olive oil until the dressing emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper.


1/2 lb small red new potatoes

4 large eggs

1/4 lb green beans/yellow wax beans/haricots verts

1 lb sushi grade tuna

5 oz mixed baby greens or sliced romaine lettuce

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup kalamata olives

1 T capers, drained

1/4 bunch of fresh chives

1 red jalapeno or fresno chile, sliced thin

Combine the tomatoes, olives, capers, chives, and chile in a large bowl and toss them to combine.

The next step is a series of boiling/blanching.

First, put the eggs in a pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the pot to a simmer and once bubbles appear on the surface of the water, turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Let sit for 7 minutes. Then, fish your eggs out of the water bath and allow them to cool. Once cool, peel the hard boiled eggs and slice them in half. You will have a perfectly cooked hard boiled egg with none of that gray stuff around the yolk.

Second, bring the pot of water back to a rapid boil and season it well with salt. Plunge the green beans and cook them until the beans have a vibrant green color, about a minute. Take them out of the boiling water and immediately put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and add them to the olive/tomato mixture.

Lastly, cook the potatoes. Put them in the same pot you cooked the green beans and boil until they are fork tender. This should take around 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and cut them all in half. Toss with the olive/tomato/green bean mixture.

Now, time to cook the tuna. You just want a beautiful sear on the outside, and you want it to be raw in the middle. Take your tuna filet and season it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour a little bit of the vinaigrette on top as well. Get a pan screaming hot and cook the tuna on one side for 2 minutes, until it is nice and crusty. Then, flip it over and cook for another two minutes. Pull the tuna out of the pan and let it rest for a few minutes while you assemble the salad. (You could also grill the tuna)

Now, it’s time to assemble the salad. Put a few drops of vinaigrette onto the plate. In the meantime, toss the greens into the potato/green bean/olive mixture and season with salt & pepper and add some vinaigrette to it. Slice the seared tuna.

Put some slices of the tuna on top of the vinaigrette. Then, take a handful of the salad and scatter it around and in between the slices of tuna. Get your sliced hardboiled eggs and put them around the plate. Give the salad one more good splash of the vinaigrette.

Eat and enjoy the bounty of summer. It’s a great dish and if you are looking for a lighter dish on Labor Day, I’d go with this one. Tuna is still a rich and meaty fish and it’s a great fish to grill. The salad really enhances the flavor of the tuna.

Try it out – let me know what ya’ll think!



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