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Seared Ahi Nicoise Salad with Roasted Vegetables

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SKILL LEVEL :
Easy

A Seared and Roasted Take on a French Classic

This salad is a variation on classic French Nicoise Salad. Usually made with canned tuna, I use fresh sashimi-grade ahi and prepare it tataki-style by quick-searing the crust, but keeping the inside uncooked. Instead of boiling the potatoes and steaming the green beans, as traditionally done, I roast them in the oven, saving steps and adding flavor. The result is a healthy salad, loaded with texture and flavor that is more than enough for a full and balanced meal. 

Weeknight or Entertaining Dish

This dish is equally suitable for a weeknight meal or for entertaining. The beans can be prepped, the lettuce washed, the eggs boiled and the dressing can be made in advance to make preparation of this meal quick and almost effortless.

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Nicoise Salad with Seared Ahi

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 Servings

A twist on traditional French Nicoise Salad, this dish uses lightly seared ahi instead of canned tuna and oven-roasted vegetables instead of boiled potatoes and steamed beans. The result is a salad for dinner that is suitable for either a weeknight meal or casual entertaining. 

Ingredients

For the vegetables:

12 ounces peewee or miniature yellow potatoes (or other waxy potatoes)

1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed

2 T olive oil

Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

For the dressing:

2 T minced shallots

2 t whole grain mustard

2 T red wine vinegar

6 T olive oil

Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste

For the salad:

1 1/4 pound sashimi grade ahi steak, about 1 1/2 to 2" thick

2 t olive oil

1 head butter lettuce, washed, torn and chilled

1 head frisee (also called baby endive), washed, torn and chilled

1 pint cherry tomatoes

12 olives, Nicoise or other type of olives

1 T capers, drained

2 boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

Instructions

For the vegetables:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the potatoes out on one baking sheet and the green beans on another. Toss each with 1 T olive oil and season with fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste.
  2. Roast the potatoes for approximately 25 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and toss after first 10 minutes. Potatoes are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork and have developed some nice color. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Roast the beans for about 10 minutes, tossing after 5 minutes. Beans are done when they are still firm, but are beginning to color. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the dressing: 

  1. Place the minced shallots in a small bowl. Add the mustard and vinegar and whisk together. Whisk in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the salad:

  1. Rub the ahi with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Sear 2 minutes on each side, including the top, bottom and sides. The goal is to sear the outer crust of the ahi, but leave the interior pink and raw. Remove from the pan.
  2. Slice the ahi in thin 1/4" slices cutting across the grain of the fish.
  3. Spread the lettuce over a large platter or shallow bowl. Arrange the ahi slices, green beans, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives and boiled eggs over the lettuce. Drizzle with dressing and serve. 

Notes

If you can't find peewee potatoes, you can use fingerlings or other miniature potatoes. Alternatively you can chop larger potatoes into 1" pieces.

Courses Lunch or Dinner

Cuisine French, New American

 

THIS SERVES WELL WITH
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