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French-Inspired Tuna Nicoise Recipe

You can't make anything better than this dish—it's the perfect balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat.

Tuna salad is a food industry euphemism for fish awash in a sea of mayo. But this French-inspired tuna salad may qualify as the healthiest meal in this (or any) cookbook. Tucked within the leaves are vitamin-dense green beans, lycopene-loaded cherry tomatoes, and omega-3-packed tuna, providing a perfect balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat in this tuna nicoise recipe.

Nutrition: 350 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 370 mg sodium

Serves 4

You'll Need

4 eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 lb red potatoes, quartered into 1⁄2" chunks
1⁄2 lb green beans, ends removed
2 tuna steaks (6 oz each)
16 cups baby mixed greens (8-oz bag)
1⁄4 cup honey-mustard vinaigrette
1-pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1⁄4 cup chopped black or green olives (kalamata and Niçoise are best)

How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low until the water is just simmering and carefully lower in the eggs.
  3. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes (this should yield creamy, not chalky, yolks) and remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Transfer to a bowl of cold water.
  5. Salt the same pot of water and add the potatoes.
  6. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
  7. Right before the potatoes are done, toss in the green beans and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. (You can cook the green beans in their own pot, but why waste the water and the energy?)
  8. Drain both vegetables together.
  9. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over high heat.
  10. Season the tuna with salt and pepper.
  11. When the pan is very hot, add the tuna and cook for 2 minutes per side, until browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.
  12. Remove and let rest for a minute or two, then slice into thin strips.
  13. Peel the eggs and slice in half.
  14. Toss the greens with enough vinaigrette to just lightly cover.
  15. Divide among 4 chilled plates or bowls.
  16. In individual piles around the lettuce, arrange the potatoes, tomatoes, olives, green beans, and eggs.
  17. Top with slices of tuna and drizzle with extra vinaigrette, if you like.

Eat This Tip

Fresh tuna is an amazing product that takes well to quick pan-searing and high-heat grilling. Trouble is, it can set you back up to $20 a pound. If you're looking to cut the cost of this dinner by about 60 percent (and speed things up a bit), ditch the fresh fish and reach for a high-quality can of tuna instead. If you can find canned or jarred tuna from Spain or Italy (Ortiz is a great brand), make it the new star of this dish. Regardless of the brand, figure half a can of tuna per salad.

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This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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