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Niçoise Salad with Grilled Tuna & Potatoes

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Yields 6 large dinner salads.

If basil is popping up in your garden right about now, this is the salad for you. The basil vinaigrette adds the perfect flavor boost to this texture-rich dish. The potatoes and tuna are grilled quickly, giving this classic a summery twist.   

  • 18 small (baby) red potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. haricots verts (thin green beans), trimmed
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1-1/2 lb. 1-inch-thick fresh tuna steaks
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. small inner leaves of red leaf lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces (4-1/2 lightly packed cups)
  • 3 oz. baby arugula, washed and spun dry (3-3/4 lightly packed cups)
  • 16 large basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
  • 1-1/4 lb. small ripe red, yellow, and orange tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup Nicoise olives (or other black olives)
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
Boil the potatoes and haricots verts:

Put the potatoes and 2 tsp. salt in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until easily pierced with a wooden skewer, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Fill the saucepan three-quarters full of fresh water and bring to a boil. Add the haricots verts and 1/2 tsp. salt to the water and cook until you can just bite through a bean with little resistance, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and set aside.

Grill the potatoes and tuna:

Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a hot charcoal fire.

Combine 1 Tbs. of the mayonnaise and the honey in a small bowl. Season the tuna steaks with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and coat both sides with the mayonnaise mixture. When the grates are very hot, grill the tuna until dark marks form on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium rare. (If you prefer medium tuna, grill over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

Cut the potatoes in half and toss them in a mixing bowl with the remaining 2 Tbs. mayonnaise, the mustard, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Turn the grill to medium high or let the fire die down some. Grill the potatoes without disturbing except to flip, until brown grill marks form on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Assemble the salads:

Set 6 large dinner plates on your counter. Put the red leaf lettuce, the arugula, and half of the basil in a large mixing bowl and toss with 2 to 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette.

Divide the lettuce among the plates, piling it in neat, tall mounds at 12 o'clock. Combine the tomatoes and the remaining basil in the mixing bowl and toss with 2 to 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Tuck the tomatoes in to the left of the lettuce and arrange the tuna to the right of the lettuce. Put the olives in the middle of each plate. Toss the green beans in the bowl with about 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Arrange the grilled potatoes and the green beans at the bottom of each plate and tuck in the hard-cooked egg quarters wherever they look best. Drizzle a few teaspoons of the vinaigrette over the tuna and the potatoes on every plate. Serve right away.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : with dressing; Calories (kcal): 690; Fat (g): fat g 48; Fat Calories (kcal): 430; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 8; Protein (g): protein g 34; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 28; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 31; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 6; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1330; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 150; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I'm sure it's delicious but I'm sure it can be made more healthy! 48 grams of fat??? Seriously? I would never make this the way it's described...would have to cut the fat & calories for sure.

Really great, definitely worth following the recipe and grilling the potatoes.

Excellent! I made it with Salmon as I am not a Tuna lover. I used the mayo mixture on the salmon plus a little salmon seasoning and grilled it on a cedar plank on the BBQ. It was delicious and went really well with all the other ingredients including the vinaigrette.

Great recipe. Made several times this summer. Goes in "the file"

Taste: This was a great salad! So many different flavors and textures but it really came together as a great dish. Timing: This is a fun one to prep in the kitchen, there's several things to do but in the end it's all worth it. Besides, we're all here because we love that very thing! Cooking! Dressing turned out with a well balanced flavor. I'm not big on highly acidic dressings. I did not grill the tuna with the mayo coating but after using it on the potatoes I promise to do this step next time.

Fantastic. We've never been a fan of anything other than fully cooked tuna but this was spectacular. Grilling the potatoes was the perfect counter point to the tuna. We enjoyed it with a Rose´.

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