Classic Nicoise Salad
By Andrew Zimmern
In this thrilling episode of Wild Game Kitchen, I break down a whole tuna and serve it three ways. Center cut tuna steaks are grilled and topped with a sweet and salty mustard miso sauce. Not wasting anything, I create a beautiful tuna tartare from the odds and ends of the tuna trim. And finally, I poach the tuna belly for this classic niçoise tuna salad with citrus dressing.
Nicoise Tuna Salad with Citrus Dressing
- 2 pounds tuna belly
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 2-3 heads Little Gem or Butter lettuce
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 12-16 anchovies (get some good ones, I get mine from www.gustiamo.com)
- 1/3 cup olives (I like Arbequina, Nicoise or Kalamata olives)
- A large handful fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Crusty bread, for serving
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons Djion mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Zest of one orange
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup ‘tuna oil’ from the poaching process
- Juice of one orange
Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
Trim the tuna and cut into 4 to 6 pieces. Place in a 2-quart pot and cover with the oil. Tuna should be submerged.
Place on stove top over low heat. Using a thermometer, cook slowly for about 20 minutes until temperature reaches 225 and once temperature reaches 225 degrees place pan in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove and let tuna cool in oil for 1 hour. Strain oil off into a bowl, and reserve for salad dressing.
Meanwhile, make the salad dressing. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the shallots, mustard, honey and orange zest. Add the lemon juice, tuna oil and orange juice, whisking constantly. Adjust for sweetness and tartness, season and serve or refrigerate.
On a large serving platter, arrange cleaned lettuce, eggs, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, green beans, sliced shallots, the poached tuna, and finally the herbs.
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve, passing the citrus dressing at the table. And plenty of warm crusty bread.