Tuna Nicoise salad epitomises a healthy and balanced meal. It is also, as anyone who knows me well will tell you, one of my absolute favourite meals. It never gets old and I enjoy it every bit as much as I did the first time I tried it.
Growing up my love of tuna actually turned into a bit of a family standing joke as I would (rather obsessively) eat it most days for lunch. Sandwiches, salads, baked potatoes, toasties – you name it and I’d put tuna on it. I’m still a huge fan of the humble tinned fish, but its high mercury levels mean I am no longer single-handedly keeping John West in business.
This quick, simple and easy dish, however, is the perfect summer meal to enjoy on a warm evening. Nothing beats opening a cold bottle of white wine, sitting out on the verandah and relishing the last breath of warmth as the sun goes down.
Of course it is also a great way of using up leftover cold potatoes and other salady bits at the back of the fridge.
CLICK HERE to see this Nicoise recipe as part of a ‘fish’ meal plan
Prep time: 25 minutes
170g tinned tuna
4 cherry tomatoes
2 cups lettuce
1 celery stick
2 spring onions
1 cup green beans
2 medium waxy potatoes (Desiree work well)
100ml olive oil
50ml lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
To start peel the potatoes, cut them into 2cm cubes and boil over a medium heat for ten minutes, or until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking you want to boil two eggs in a separate saucepan. They need 7 minutes for hard boiled which I prefer to soft boiled in this recipe. Once cooked, place in iced water until thoroughly cool before peeling and chopping in half. I like to cook the beans in the same pot to save water (and washing up). Put them in with the eggs after three minutes and leave them to cool alongside the eggs in iced water.
In a large salad bowl place the chopped lettuce, cherry tomatoes (halved), celery and spring onions (both finely chopped), the drained tuna, and finally the cooled potato cubes, green beans and boiled eggs.
Lastly, to make the dressing combine all ingredients in a jug and whisk until emulsified. Dress the salad immediately before serving.
Traditionally, a Nicoise has black olives.
A crusty baguette with slabs of cold salted butter.
This would make a perfect wrap for lunch at the office. Roll the mixed salad up in a soft wholemeal wrap and fold in baking paper to keep fresh.