I’ve eaten many different types of salad Nicoise over the years. Some with freshly seared tuna fresh off the grill others with tinned tuna and both can be equally good. There is one classic version which stood out for me, when I was in the South of France (Nice naturally) and the chef chopped all the ingredients up finely, then mixed them flamboyantly together before tossing them in a delicious olivey lemon dressing. The flavours infused lusciously together.
My version is a little lighter than the traditional version as I omit the potatoes and eggs, but you can tweak it however anyway you choose. Regarding the tuna, I recommend Ortiz tuna or any line and pole caught tuna in olive oil or spring water.
Tuna summer salad with fresh herbs and beans
Difficulty: Easy Serves: 4-6
2 tins 200g/250g Ortiz or pole and line caught tuna in spring water (sustainable)
1 small tin anchovies chopped
300g cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
1 bunch of radishes
300g french beans
1 tbsp chopped capers
400g butter beans
1 small bunch of chives and a handful of chive flowers if in season
1 small bunch spring onions
100g rocket (2 handfuls)
juice of 2 lemons
2-3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Top and tail the French beans and cook in boiling water for 3 minutes then drain in cold water. (The beans still want to be al dente). Drain the tuna and place in a large serving bowl, with the anchovies, capers, cooked beans, butter beans and tomatoes. Peel and deseed the cucumber and cut into a small dice. Top and tail the radishes and finely slice. Coarsely chop the herbs and add to the salad with the cucumber, radishes and rocket. Dress the salad with the lemon juice olive oil and salt and check the seasoning and serve.