Adapted from foodnetwork.com.
1 - 1 1/2 lb fresh sushi-quality ahi tuna
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
1 can quartered artichokes, drained
1 lb thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 cup Nicoise or oil-cured olives
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I used a combination of tomatoes I had on hand.)
1 small bunch radishes, ends trimmed, halved, and sliced thin
1/2 sweet red pepper, peeled, cored, thinly sliced and cut into 1-2 inch lengths
8 anchovy fillets
8 caper berries
small bunch fresh chives, snipped in half
4 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled, and halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
To Blanch Asparagus
- Cut asparagus spears into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Keep tips separate from stalks.
- Fill a medium saucepan about 1/2 full of water. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Add asparagus stem pieces and boil for 1 minute, add asparagus tips and boil for an additional 1 minute or until crisp-tender and bright green.
- Pour asparagus into a colander and rinse under very cold water to stop them from cooking.
- Refrigerate or set aside.
To Make Vinaigrette
- Combine parsley, tarragon, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice and pulse to combine.
- With processor running, slowly add olive oil until dressing emulsifies.
- Turn off processor and season with salt and pepper.
To Sear Tuna
- Warm a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
- Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Spoon the vinaigrette on the tuna and rub a little bit into each side. (Be sure not to contaminate the vinaigrette with the tuna.)
- Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in hot pan. Working in batches, if necessary, lay the tuna steaks in the pan and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they reach your desired degree of doneness.
- Transfer tuna to a cutting board and slice.
To Assemble Salad
- Divide Romaine evenly among 4 large, shallow bowls or plates.
- Place artichokes, asparagus, olives, radishes, red peppers, tomatoes, anchovies, capers, and chives in a large mixing bowl. Gently toss to coat.
- Briefly whisk the vinaigrette to recombine. Add just enough of the vinaigrette to moisten, but not drench, the vegetables. Gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place 1/4 of the tossed salad on top of the Romaine leaves. Carefully fan tuna slices out on top. Arrange 2 halves of egg on the side. (A Nicoise salad is all about presentation.) Drizzle lightly with remaining vinaigrette and serve. Repeat for remaining salads and serve.