Coriander-Crusted Tuna Salad Niçoise
By By Ming Tsai
I've always enjoyed composed salads—salads with multiple ingredients, artfully arranged. Among these, Salade Niçoise is probably the best known and most widely enjoyed.
It features tuna—traditionally, canned albacore. I've "upped" the dish by using fresh, coriander-coated tuna that's quickly sautéed, plus frisée dressed with a sprightly caper-and-olive-laced vinaigrette.
Yield: 4 servings
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup ponzu
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 tablespoons chopped pitted Niçoise olives
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound center-cut tuna steak, preferably bigeye, cut lengthwise into slices as wide as the tuna's thickness and as long as the steak
3 tablespoons coarsely ground coriander seed
2 small heads frisée lettuce, washed
1. To hard-boil the eggs, bring enough water to cover the eggs to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower the eggs into the water and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 14 minutes and transfer the eggs to cold water. When cold, peel and slice the eggs 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl combine the mustard, shallots, ponzu, sesame oil, capers and olives and whisk to blend. Slowly whisk in the 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Season the tuna with salt and pepper on both sides. Spread the coriander on a large plate and press the tuna into it on all sides.
4. Heat a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Make sure the pan is very hot. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the tuna and sautée on all sides until medium-rare, about 4 minutes. Remove the tuna and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine the frisée and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Toss gently with the vinaigrette, reserving some for drizzling.
6. Divide the salad among four individual serving plates, top with the tuna, drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, and serve.
A crisp, fruit-forward Sancerre like Lucien Crochet from France
Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.
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