Niçoise salad with tuna and semi-dried Piccolo cherry tomatoes
Big or small, fresh or tinned, cooked or raw, tomatoes are among the hardest workers in the fruit and vegetable world.
You’ll find them in countless dishes from cuisines all over the world.
Tomatoes of all varieties are increasingly available throughout the year, but British tomato season proper usually begins in the spring and runs until around October.
This classic French seafood salad is pepped up with semi-dried Piccolo cherry tomatoes, perfect main dish for hot summer days.
Slice the Piccolo cherry tomatoes horizontally and toss with the finely chopped garlic, thyme leaves and a drizzle of oil. Arrange cut-side up on a baking tray and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 35–45 minutes or until just starting to dry out, then remove from the oven.
Slice the new potatoes to about ½cm thick then cook in salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until tender, then drain.
Cook the fine beans in salted boiling water for 3 minutes until cooked al dente. Drain then cool quickly in cold water to preserve the bright green colour.
Soft boil the eggs for 7 minutes, then run under cold water. Peel just before serving, to preserve the shape of the egg.
You can now assemble the salad. Wash the baby gem and pull off the outer larger leaves. Dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, then arrange these over the base of the serving plate. Finely chop the core of the gem and sprinkle over the centre of the plate.
Dress the cooked potatoes and beans with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a little drizzle of oil, then add these to the plate along with the flaked tuna, black olives and anchovies.
Slice the eggs into quarters and season the yolks then add to the plate. Finish with the semi-dried Piccolo cherry tomatoes and some torn basil and serve up straight away.
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