Ahi Tuna Salad Niçoise

Yield: Serves 4

Recipe courtesy Centini Restaurant


8 cups mixed lettuce, gently torn and left in large pieces (butter lettuce, radicchio, romaine, Belgian endive, etc.)

To taste sea salt/Maldon salt and black pepper

¼ cup (60 mL) sherry vinegar (if you are using a different vinegar, cut back a little to control the acidity of the vinaigrette)

¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

8 Gherkins, cut in half lengthwise

8 boiled eggs, cut in half

8 tomato quarters or 8-10 cherry tomatoes

25-30 assorted green and black pitted olives

8 boiled fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise in half

20 boiled green beans (use crisp cooked asparagus if you prefer)

1 pickled cauliflower and a few roasted pickled peppers

850 g Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna

Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna:

6 ounces of meat per person (24 ounces of Ahi Tuna)

black and white sesame seeds, as needed

salt and pepper, to taste

olive oil, as needed


  1. Dress the lettuce with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in serving dish or on platter and artfully arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Top with Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna.
  2. Black and White Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna:
  3. Buy a nice uniform piece of Ahi or trim it to be so. Salt and pepper the fish. “Bread” the tuna in a mixture of black and white sesame seeds, packing the seeds on so that the fish is completely coated.
  4. Heat a frying pan until it is smoking. Add a splash of olive oil and the tuna. Sear the fish for about 35-40 seconds per side. It is very important to have the pan extremely hot when you add the fish. Turn the tuna with kitchen tongs to sear all sides and make a nice crust of the sesame seeds. The fish should be rare in the middle.
  5. To serve, thinly slice the tuna and fan it on top of the salad. Alternately, it can be cooked ahead and stored in the fridge.
  6. The tuna can easily be substituted for medium rare cooked steak, or the protein of your choice.

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