Nan Can Cook 002: Niçoise a la Nan

What do you do when you overcook a very nice piece of fresh tuna? First, get a bed of lettuce. This is some gorgeous organic fresh romaine from Frog Holler Farm out here in Brooklyn.

Then, add some veggies tossed in a simple vinaigrette. We had green beans, part of a traditional Salade Niçoise, as well as steamed broccoli, a little more shredded romaine, and some grapefruit for a little sparkle.

Now for that tuna. I’d seared it, and it was a thick piece, so I figured it would need a little time in the oven. Wrong. It cooked all the way through, not so great for dinner, where you want it a little rare, but fine to chop up for a salad. I added mayo, shredded carrots, minced onion, and a couple of shredded arugula leaves.

Now all the fun stuff: cherry tomatoes, cubed avocado, some croutons I made out of polenta, oil-cured olives, and, if you look close, you can see some adorable purple and pink basil flowers stickin’ up out the top, as Fats Waller might have said.

I do understand, by the way, that it’s nowhere close to a true Niçoise, which would have some steamed redskin potatoes, a hard boiled egg or two, and wouldn’t have nearly as much other stuff. But when I cook, I make use of what’s on hand and basically have as much fun as possible. All are welcome at my table, but kitchen nitpickers (some would say fascists) will find plenty of faults. To which I say:  Shut up and eat. You’ll be so much happier.

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