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Grilled Salade Niçoise

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Serves four.

Drizzling the vegetables with dressing as they come off the grill makes for a more flavorful salad because the dressing gets absorbed.

For the dressing:
  • 1 Tbs. minced anchovies (about 4)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
  • 8 to10 small red potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size 
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb. fresh tuna
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz. Boston or bibb lettuce
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tbs. drained capers
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup Niçoise or other good-quality black olives
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Make the dressing:

In a food processor, pulse the anchovies, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice until combined. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil, a few drops at first, and then in a slow, steady stream. Season with salt and pepper

Grill the salad:

Heat the grill. Lightly coat the potatoes, onion, tomatoes, and beans with oil and sprinkle with salt. Lightly brush the tuna with oil and sprinkle with salt and a little pepper. Grill the potatoes over medium-low heat and cook until they’re fork-tender and roasty looking, turning occasionally to keep them from sticking, 30 to 35 minutes. total. Put the onion, tomatoes, and green beans on a medium-high part of the grill. Grill the vegetables until they’re lightly charred and tender, moving the ingredients around so they don’t overcook. The onions will cook in 10 to 15 minutes, the tomatoes in 5 to 8 minutes, and the beans in 4 to 6 minutes. As the vegetables come off the grill, transfer them to a tray or a jellyroll pan, drizzle with dressing, toss lightly, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, grill the tuna over medium-high heat until it’s slightly pink in the center, about 6 minutes per side. Let it cool for a few minutes and slice. Line four salad plates with the lettuce and arrange the grilled vegetables and tuna on top. Garnish with the anchovies, capers, eggs, and olives. Drizzle with a little more dressing, sprinkle with the basil, and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 710; Fat (g): fat g 48; Fat Calories (kcal): 430; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 8; Protein (g): protein g 41; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 33; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 30; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1640; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 270; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Mark Thomas

I looked at several grilled nicoise recipes and chose this one because I love anchovies and wanted them in the dressing. This dressing recipe is really good! Only change I made was to increase the amount of lemon juice. Also to simplify grilling process, I just put a big cast iron frying pan on my gas grill, got it really hot, and roasted both the beans and the potatoes (which I boiled till partially done ahead of time) in there. Then I BRIEFLY seared a tuna loin in the same pan, leaving the inside raw. (The six minutes per side called for in the recipe is way too long. I did about 30 seconds per side, this on a very thick loin.) Sublime!

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