Salade Niçoise with Pan-Seared Tuna

Salade Niçoise is a composed, main course salad that generally includes a combination of oil-packed tuna, hard-cooked eggs, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, niçoise olives, capers and anchovies. Lightly dressed with a lemon-shallot vinaigrette, our version features pan-seared tuna steaks in place of the canned tuna, but feel free to keep with tradition. Either way, Salade Niçoise makes an incredibly satisfying and flavorful meal.

Salade Niçoise with Pan-Seared Tuna

Salade Niçoise with Pan-Seared Tuna

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Served as a main course, our version of Salade Niçoise is made with pan-seared tuna steaks, hard-cooked eggs, potatoes, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and capers.


For the tuna:

  • 4 ahi tuna steaks, 3/4-inch thick, about 1-1/2 lbs total
  • 1/2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

  • 4 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 3/4 to 1 lb new or baby potatoes, about 8
  • 3/4 lb green beans or haricot vert
  • 6 cups butter or green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 lb small, ripe tomatoes (Campari, cherry or grape), halved or quartered
  • 8 oil-packed anchovy fillets, optional
  • 1/2 cup niçoise olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender when pierced with a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool before cutting into quarters.
  • While the potatoes cook, prepare the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, garlic and shallot in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is blended and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the beans and set aside a large bowl of ice water. Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes (depending on their size). Drain immediately and add them to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain on a towel and set aside.
  • Next, prepare the tuna. Combine the olive oil, garlic, shallot and lemon zest. Spread a bit of the mixture onto each side of the tuna steaks, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 of the tuna steaks to the pan and, depending on how you like your tuna, sear for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes per side. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board to rest and repeat the process with the other 2 steaks.
  • While the tuna rests, compose the salads. Divide the lettuce between 4 serving plates, then arrange a serving of eggs, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, olives and anchovies (if using) around the outer edges.
  • Slice the tuna steaks, arrange in the center of the plates, then spoon some dressing over each serving. Top with a few capers and a little freshly ground black pepper if desired.
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