Niçoise salad

I love grilling season.

It gives us a chance to move away from the gas grill that sits outside the kitchen door and into the yard, where we keep our charcoal grill.

There’s nothing better than the smoky flavor of lump charcoal or mesquite, especially when it comes to searing tuna.

This salad feeds two tuna lovers.

Ingredients

1/2 pound sushi-grade yellowfin tuna
1/2 pound new potatoes, lightly boiled and split
1/4 pound haricots vert (or skinny green beans), blanched, cooled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, split
1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives (calamatas will do, too)
2 eggs, hard-boiled (careful to keep the yolks yellow)* and quartered
Half a head of romaine lettuce, rinsed and dry
Capers, parsley and chives to garnish

Dressing (blend and serve immediately)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Anchovy paste, salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil (regular or extra virgin)
If you like your tuna black and blue, then just sear it on high heat on the grill. (Make sure you do not use lighter fluid if you’re going to put your fish in the flame!) Let it cool slightly, then slice as you like.

* To keep your hard-boiled egg yolks from turning green, dry and pasty, try bringing them to a boil in a covered pan of cold water, boil for three minutes, then turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Wait until the eggs are almost cool enough to touch to peel and serve.

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