Home » Salade Nicoise
modern salads nicoise with seared tuna steaks

Salade Nicoise

My take on a classic using fresh tuna steak lightly seared on each side, instead of the traditional canned version. Makes a great lunch or dinner, or as a starter.

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a starter. This recipe can also be halved.



  • salt: 0.5 tsp
  • garlic: 2 cloves minced
  • olive oil: 120 ml/0.5 cup
  • vinegar, red wine or cider: 3 Tbsp
  • fresh lemon juice: from about 0.25 of a lemon
  • Dijon mustard: 1.5 tsp


  • tuna steaks: 4 x (150-200 g/5-6 oz)
  • fresh coarsely ground black pepper: (for coating the tuna) 2 Tbsp , about 50+ grinds from your pepper mill
  • eggs: 4 hard boiled, peeled, halved or quartered
  • new (waxy) potatoes: about 500 g/1 lb, halved lengthwise
  • green beans: about 400 g/15 oz, the stem end trimmed
  • cherry tomatoes: about 250 g/9 oz/12 tomatoes, halved, and tossed with a pinch of salt. Bring to room temperature to bring out the tomato flavor–please don’t keep tomatoes in the fridge
  • black olives: about 100 g/3.5 oz/0.75 cup
  • capers: 3 Tbsp
  • fresh basil: small handful, finely chopped



  1. Combine the salt and garlic together on a cutting board. Using the blade of a chef’s knife moving back and forth horizontally (also see YouTube videos), work the salt into the garlic until a smooth puree has formed, about 20 seconds. (this can also be done with a small mortar and pestle). Whisk the garlic-salt mixture with the rest of the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning and acid (vinegar/lemon) as desired.


  1. Beans: Heat a large pot of salted water (about 1 Tb of salt per 1 liter/quart of water) to a boil and add the beans. Cook for 6 minutes until cooked through but leaving a bit of bite. Remove the beans, leaving the water to use for the potatoes, and immerse the beans in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute to preserve the green color and stop the cooking, then drain.
  2. Potatoes: Bring the water in the pot back to a boil, add the potatoes, and reduce heat to just below boiling. Cook until just tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Drain the potatoes and allow to dry for a couple minutes. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil and brown the flat side of the potatoes for about 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if desired. Keep the pan on the heat for the next step.
  3. Tuna: Lightly coat the tuna steaks with olive oil and a pinch of salt on both sides. Firmly press 1 side of the steak onto a plate with the black pepper to completely cover. Cook the steaks on a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side to leave a rare center or longer if you prefer a fully cooked through steak. Remove to cool. The steaks can also be refrigerated and served cold.
  4. Final plating: Toss the green beans with a couple tablespoons of the dressing, then add all ingredients to plates, drizzle with remaining dressing, and serve.