Tuna Nicoise Salad

Tuna Nicoise Salad is a classic salad that is best with warm potatoes, medium-rare tuna direct from the grill, and a vinegary citrus vinaigrette. Much of this dish can be prepared ahead such as the hard-boiled potatoes, the blanched green beans, and the vinaigrette.

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Tuna Nicoise Salad
(Mark Kelly, 2014)

Makes 4 entree servings

16 oz. sashimi-grade ahi tuna, room temperature
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of two lemons
4-6 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 shallot minced
1 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (heaping)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing tuna
1 lb. green beans, trimmed, rinsed, blanched and chilled
1 lb. small new potatoes or fingerlings, boiled, drained and halved
4 oz. pitted black and green olives, halved
8 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
strips of cheese (provolone, parmesan, or softer, white cheese such as brie)

To make the vinaigrette:
In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, shallot, capers, anchovy paste and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. While whisking constantly, drizzle in 2/3 cup of oil. Pour vinaigrette into a mason jar, seal and keep at room temperature until serving salad or refrigerate if being made more than a few hours ahead of time.

To prepare salad:
Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush tuna with oil. Season with salt. Sear for 2 minutes. Turn over and sear for 1 minute more. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

On a large platter arrange a layer of green beans, potatoes, olives, tomatoes, eggs, and cheese around the platter. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the tuna into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Arrange the tuna on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Guest then serve themselves to their own plates and use the remaining vinaigrette.

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