Recipe: Tuna Nicoise Salad

Here's a lovely dish to enjoy outdoors in the summer sunshine, by Di Curtin
Recipe: Tuna Nicoise Salad
Tuna Nicoise Salad

THIS week I’ve come up with a dish you can enjoy in the confines of your balcony, backyard or garden.

The French know all about dining al fresco in the sunshine. In the south, where local produce includes juicy tomatoes and other fresh greens, olives and rich olive oil, one traditional dish often served outdoors is Tuna Nicoise.

This dish of flaked tuna in olive oil mixed with small waxy potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, black olives and hard boiled eggs, dressed in a classic vinaigrette, is very often on the menus of pavement cafes.

This week, I’ve adapted that to include what I had handy: the principal ingredients of canned tuna, eggs and potatoes, mixed with some green beans and sugar snap peas, green olives instead of black and the addition of some slivers of pickled cucumber to add a bit of bite.

You can use frozen green beans for this if that’s all you have. I’ve gone against tradition with my dressing, using olive oil and a dash of balsamic with some wholegrain mustard — in the absence of authentic Dijon mustard for a proper French vinaigrette.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

750g waxy baby potatoes

150g green beans or sugar snap peas, or a mix of both

2x 160g cans tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked

3 ripe tomatoes, in chunks

Few black or green pitted olives (to taste)

1 tbsp picked cucumber sleeves (optional)

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and sliced

4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered

For the dressing:

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Cook the potatoes until tender in lightly salted boiling water. When they are just about tender, add the beans and sugar snaps if using, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes more to blanch the greens and finish off the potatoes.
  • Drain and run veggies under cold water and drain well.
  • Place potatoes and veggies in a bowl.
  • Add tuna, tomatoes, olives, cucumber if using, spring onions and hardboiled eggs.
  • Mix dressing and drizzle over. Toss gently together.
  • Spoon into four bowls to serve, or use one big bowl and let everyone help themselves.

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