Griddled Tuna Salade Nicoise

Making a meal of salad Nicoise with fresh tuna is a treat indeed. Be sure, though, to cook the tuna quickly, ideally on a griddle or heavy frying pan, to avoid dryness. You want it pink in the middle. Everything, I’m happy to say, can be prepped in advance ready for a quick assembly at the last minute.

Serves 2
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 10 min

2 tuna steaks, approx 250g in total
3 tbsp fruity olive oil
10cm piece cucumber
1 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
100g fine green beans
2 eggs
10 small new potatoes
3 small vine tomatoes
large handful oak leaf or mixed salad leaves
15 small basil leaves
1 tbsp capers
15 pitted black olives
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Boil the kettle. Heat a griddle over a medium heat until smoking hot. Swipe the tuna with a smear of oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Slap onto the hot griddle, pressing with a fish slice for good contact. Cook for 10-30 seconds, depending on the thickness of the fillets, just sufficient that you see a line of colour change. Lift by scraping the fish slice/spatula under the fillets and turn. Again cook briefly, so the middle retains its dark colour. Set aside on a plate or chopping board, cover with a stretch of clingfilm and leave until you are ready for it. Use a potato peeler to peel the cucumber, split lengthways, scape out the seeds with a teaspoon and slice into chunky half moons. Toss with 1 tbsp cider vinegar. Top and tail the beans, cut in half and boil in salted water from the kettle for 2 minutes. Scoop into a colander, splash with cold water to cool and hold the colour. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes. Crack all over and peel under running water. Scrape the potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. Drain and leave to cool. Quarter the tomatoes. Rinse and shake the oak leaf dry. Tear into manageable size pieces. When you are ready to serve, pile the oak leaf on plates or a platter. Top with beans, tomato, potato and cucumber. Scatter olives, capers and basil leaves over the top. Sprinkle with vinegar, just enough to sharpen, and remaining olive oil. Quarter the eggs lengthways and arrange over the salad. Add the tuna broken in big pieces, tucking some under the salad. Lovely.