I have seen dozens of recipes for niçoise salad over the years. But to tell you the truth, they’ve never looked that appetizing to me. Maybe it’s my childhood aversion to green beans coming out, or maybe it’s that I expect the potatoes to be too bland and starchy. Even the niçoise salads with fresh ahi tuna never sparked much of my interest.
But I recently bought a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, and she features two niçoise salads: one cool, and one warm. The photographs of both make the salad look so rustic and inviting, that I began to reconsider my prejudice against the salad from Nice.
As for the potatoes, my mom and I have been replacing regular starchy potatoes with sweet potatoes lately—they’re higher in nutrients and flavor, so I thought I’d add those to the salad instead.
Not to mention, I have been getting these gorgeous eggs from my neighbor lately, so I knew the bright yolks would make the salad stunning to look at.
I figured it was time to finally try my own version.
I added anchovies to the salad, as is traditional, but I found they made the salad a little too salty. You can add them if you want, of course, but I think the anchovies in the dressing are enough.
salade niçoise with sweet potatoes and ahi tuna
1 sweet potato, cut into 1 inch slices
salt and pepper
2 fresh tuna steaks
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
large handful of green beans, blanched and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
5-6 anchovies (completely optional)
3 large handfuls of salad greens, such as spinach or butter lettuce
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons niçoise or kalamata olives
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potato slices in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes, or until browned and tender. Allow to cool and cut into 1 inch chunks.
2. Drizzle tuna steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Sear tuna on all sides for about a minute each side. Remove from pan and allow to rest for ten minutes. Slice across the grain with a very sharp knife (Hopefully your knife is sharper than mine!).
3. Divide all ingredients between four plates, and drizzle with anchovy chive dressing.
anchovy chive dressing
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
8-10 chives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar or pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 clove garlic, grated
Blend all ingredients together with a food processor or a blender until the chives are very finely chopped.