Learn how to make a yummy French Nicoise salad with tuna and potatoes. It’s a delicious and filling meal for dinner or even lunch.
French Nicoise Salad
French Nicoise (pronounced as ni’swaz) is one of the more popular salads from France. It originated from Nice, France and traditionally consists of tomatoes, eggs, anchovies and Nicoise olives. It is dressed in olive oil. Many chefs like the popular Gordon Ramsay agree that it is one of the best summer salads on the planet.
There’s no written account of how this salad came about, although it is known that the French have been preparing it as early as the 19th century. In the late 19th century, it was described as a simple food for the masses being a combination of tomatoes, olive oil, and anchovies.
A book titled “La Cuisine a Nice” mentioned the salad as having tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, artichokes, anchovies and black olives. The dressing included olive oil, mustard, and vinegar. Interestingly, the early variations of this salad had no tuna.
It was only in the 1960s when tuna was incorporated in the salad. The American cookbook titled “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” popularized the use of tuna and potatoes in the said recipe. Later on, the co-author of the said book demonstrated the recipe on a TV show in the 1970s.
But why add tuna and potato to what is already a delicious salad? Well, you get to benefit from the nutrients from the said foods. Plus, tuna and potatoes can make the salad a lot more filling.
Health benefits of tuna
You can benefit a lot from incorporating tuna in your diet. This fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids that can lower the levels of cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood vessels. It is thus one of the best foods to take to lower risks of coronary heart disease.
Tuna can also aid in lowering blood pressure. Omega 3 fatty acids along with the mineral potassium, which tuna has high levels of, can help in improving blood pressure levels. This, in turn, can prevent stroke, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis.
Tuna is also rich in protein which promotes muscle build up and repair. It can also promote weight loss and the good overall function of the immune system.
Health benefits of potatoes
Adding potatoes in French Nicoise salad can also make it very filling. Plus, tomatoes are no pushovers when it comes to nutrition.
Potatoes are perhaps the best source of potassium. The said mineral is not only essential in lowering blood pressure but also in helping the muscles contract. In fact, potatoes have a higher potassium content than bananas.
Potatoes are also high in vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that helps the body in preventing cellular damage. Vitamin C also promotes iron absorption and in collagen production so that we get to have clear and smooth skin.
And yes, vitamin C can keep a cough and colds at bay.
French Nicoise Salad with Tuna
This recipe should take you 1-2 hours to complete. It makes four servings.
- 2 cup of fresh tuna or four tuna steaks about 1 inch thick
- 2 big potatoes, cooked and quartered
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup French beans, topped and drained
- 4 gem lettuce hearts
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 4 eggs, boiled and halved
- 6 anchovy fillets, cut into thin strips
- 16 black olives
- 8 basil leaves
You will also need the following for the dressing:
- 7 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of chives
- 2-garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Step by step guide:
- Let’s begin with the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, garlic, chives, salt, and pepper.
- Put the tuna in a dish. Pour half of the dressing. Cover the dish and let it chill for 1-2 hours so that the fish will be marinated. Occasionally toss in the marinade.
- Heat a pan on the stovetop. Cook the tuna steaks for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large plate. Add the onion, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, tuna, beans and anchovies. Pour the remaining dressing before adding the eggs, ripped basil leaves and olives.
There you have it! French Nicoise salad with tuna can make for a good dinner or lunch, especially if you are trying to lose weight. I can certainly assure you that this salad won’t taste like a poor man’s salad. It is so delicious your guests will complement your cooking.
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