Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Simplified Tuna Nicoise Salad

We had a leftover sushi grade tuna toro steak from Friday's handroll dinner so I decided to make a tuna nicoise salad with ingredients that I had around the house, including lemons and cherry tomatoes from my parents' garden, olives from the pantry, salad greens, eggs, parsley, garlic, anchovies and capers from the fridge. I surprisingly had most of the ingredients around the house, even though I hadn't been cooking that much recently. The only things that I was missing vs. a traditional tuna nicoise salad were potatoes and haricot verts. I used Tyler Florence's recipe for the salad dressing, just omitting the tarragon since I didn't have any around and doubling the parsley in its place, and using a bit of anchovy paste and agave nectar. The dressing is similar to my everyday dressing, which is usually dijon mustard, red wine / champagne / balsamic vinegar, shallots, olive oil.  Not sure why I haven't tried this before, but I like his idea of shaking up the salad dressing in a jar in order to fully emulsify it; I find that whisking never quite gets it all the way there, and its not worth the hassle of cleaning to use a food processor or blender for such a small amount. The salad was excellent, I will definitely be making it again. Lots of strong and contrasting flavors; I love seared, peppery tuna, pungent anchovies, salty olives and capers, sweet and fresh cherry tomatoes, eggs, and garlicky and tangy dressing. Omitting the potatoes and haricot verts takes out some of the more time consuming steps, so it's a good salad to make for a quick, complete and tasty weeknight meal.

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