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Salade Niçoise with Fennel-Dusted Tuna


"The beauty of living in East Hampton," Sylvie Chantecaille says, "is having both amazing garden and sea harvests." So although salade niçoise typically includes canned tuna, Sylvie uses the incredibly fresh tuna caught off Long Island's Montauk Point.

  1. 1 pound small red potatoes
  2. Salt
  3. 1/2 pound thin green beans
  4. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  6. 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  7. 2 tablespoons minced tarragon
  8. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  9. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  11. Freshly ground pepper
  12. 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  13. 2 pounds tuna steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick
  14. 1 teaspoon fennel pollen (see Note) or ground fennel seeds
  15. 10 ounces mesclun
  16. 16 anchovy fillets
  17. 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  18. 1 cup Niçoise olives
  19. 1/4 cup chopped chives
  20. 2 tablespoons drained capers
  21. 8 hard-cooked large eggs, quartered
  22. Nasturtium flowers, whole and shredded (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with 1 1/2 inches of water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer the potatoes over moderately high heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the green beans in a strainer, lower it into the simmering water in the saucepan and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes; transfer the beans to a plate to cool. Check the potatoes; they should be tender a few minutes after the beans are done. Drain and halve the potatoes, then let them cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the extra-virgin olive oil with the vinegar, parsley, tarragon, garlic, mustard and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium skillet, heat the pure olive oil. Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper and dust with the fennel pollen. Cook the tuna over high heat until browned on the outside and rare within, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until slightly chilled.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the mesclun with the potatoes, green beans, anchovies, cherry tomatoes, olives, chives and capers. Add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  6. Mound the salad on plates. Slice the tuna 1/3 inch thick and set on top of the salads. Surround with the eggs. Scatter the nasturtiums around the plates and serve, passing the remaining vinaigrette at the table to dress the tuna.
Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate the vinaigrette, eggs and vegetables separately. Notes Fennel pollen is available at specialty food shops and from Sugar Ranch; 800-821-5989 or

Suggested Pairing

A bright, aromatic dry rosé from the south of France has enough acidity to match the tart tomato and olive flavors here.



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