Salade Nicoise – Recipe
With it being far more soggy than sizzling this year, it’s time to bring some sunshine and heat to the kitchen with this super summer salad recipe with a chilli kick from Dan May’s Red Hot Chilli Cookbook. Perfect for alfresco eating (if we get the chance!) and also just as delicious eaten indoors, while dreaming of warmer climates!
4 small, fresh tuna steaks
Small new potatoes, scrubbed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large lemon
1 small hot red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
1 small red onion, very finely chopped
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
4 free-range eggs 350 g/12 oz
Cherry tomatoes 200 g/61?2 oz
Fine green beans, trimmed 120 g/4 oz
2 tablespoons caperberries, washed and dried
5–6 Baby Gem lettuces, (or 3 Baby Romaine lettuces) quartered
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Snipped fresh chives
Torn fresh basil leaves
16 marinated anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Squeeze of lemon juice
1. To make the chilli lemon potatoes, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
2. Drain the water and leave the potatoes in the pan. Gently press them against the side of the pan with the back of a spoon to squash slightly.
3. Add the oil, lemon juice, chilli and onion, replace the lid and shake the pan vigorously to thoroughly coat with the mixture.
4. Season with salt flakes and plenty of black pepper, replace the lid and shake again. Let cool.
5. To make the salad, gently boil the eggs in a small pan of salted water for about 7–10 minutes depending on the size of the egg. The yolks should ideally be just soft or even slightly runny.
“Toss together until everything is well coated”
6. Remove from the heat and run the eggs under cold water. Shell them and let cool completely.
7. Heat a small pan over high heat and add a little olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, moving constantly, until they begin to blister. Remove from the heat, lightly season and let cool.
8. Boil the green beans in a small pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until ‘al dente’. Drain and run under cold water. Pat dry on kitchen paper/paper towels.
9. Put the tomatoes, beans, olives, caperberries, lettuce and herbs into a large bowl. Whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a balloon whisk. Pour two-thirds of the dressing onto the salad mixture in the large bowl and very gently toss together until everything is well coated.
10. Cut the eggs into quarters, add to the bowl and stir through very gently.
“Do not overcook otherwise it will get dry”
11. Put the anchovy fillets in the remaining dressing and, without mashing, press firmly with the back of a fork to flavour the dressing. Set aside.
12. Season the tuna well.
13. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
14. Sear the tuna for 3–4 minutes each side without stirring – do not overcook otherwise it will get dry.
15. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few moments. Cut into thick slices.
16. Put the salad, potatoes and tuna in 4 bowls.
17. Remove the anchovies from the remaining dressing and arrange in the bowls. Dress with the remaining dressing.
The recipe has been taken from ‘The Redhot Chilli Cookbook’ which was written by Dan May and published by Ryland Peters & Small. The book is available on Amazon, in Waterstones and all good independent bookshops priced at £16.99.