- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep: -
- Serves 2
A Gordon Ramsay classic made simple. This salad niçoise is a fresh-tasting summer meal
For the olive dressing
- STEP 1
First, make the dressing. Tip the olives, anchovies and garlic into a large mortar and mash with a pestle until you have a very rough paste. Scrape into a bowl, if you like, stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar, then set aside.
- STEP 2
Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 mins until tender, then drain and set aside. Cook the beans in boiling salted water for 4-5 mins until tender with a slight crunch. Drain, tip into iced water, then drain again and set aside. Boil a small pan of water and cook the eggs until cooked to your liking, about 6 mins for a soft yolk and 7½ mins for a harder yolk.
- STEP 3
Halve the potatoes and heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan. Place the potatoes cut-side down in the pan and sizzle for about 4 mins until golden and crisp. Toss the potatoes in the pan to brown on all sides, then turn up the heat and add the tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes for about 1 min until just starting to blister, then season. Splash in 1 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, then turn off the heat and scatter over the basil.
- STEP 4
To cook the tuna, place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and add 1 tbsp oil. Season the tuna generously, then sear for 4 mins, leaving it undisturbed in the pan to brown. Turn over and continue to cook for 4 mins on the other side. This will give you very rare tuna. For rare, cook for 2 mins more on each side and for well done, add another 4 mins on each side. Set the tuna aside to rest for a few mins.
- STEP 5
To serve, whisk the remaining oil and vinegar with the lemon juice in a small bowl and toss in the lettuce wedges. Place a spoonful of olive dressing into 2 serving bowls, arrange the potatoes and tomatoes over, then put a pile of beans on top. Slice the tuna in half at a slight angle and place each half on top of the beans. Wedge the lettuce around the outside, halve the eggs and position in between the lettuce. Dollop a small spoonful of olive dressing on each egg.
I learned to make the classic Salad Niçoise when I cooked on a yacht off the South of France. Over the past decade, I've evolved this salad and it now appears frequently on my menus, sometimes as a simple starter or, as I've done here, with a whole piece of beautifully fresh fish as a main course. Whatever guise this dish takes, it must be the finest summer salad of all.
There are two types of tuna - yellowfin and bluefin. Yellowfin is the one you will find at most fishmongers and supermarkets. Bluefin is an endangered species, very expensive and mostly used in sushi and sahimi restaurants.
Fresh, seared tuna is infinitely better with this salad than tinned. I like to cook both portions of tuna as a whole piece, which is easier to cook, and then slice it into two once it's done. Rather than adding too many ingredients to the salad, I've taken the olives and anchovies from the classic version and incorporated them into a dressing.
IS IT SUSTAINABLE?
When you are shopping for tuna, ask your fishmonger how it has been caught. 'Pole and line' is the most sustainable method as it avoids 'bycatch', which is when other species get caught at the same time. However, it is a time-consuming and expensive method, so you're more likely to find 'line caught' tuna - the next best method.