At this time of year, I always crave salads, crunchy vegetables, and simple proteins to keep me satisfied! When it’s already hot outside, I like to keep my meals fresh and light to balance out the weather. Right now, for example, I am overheating in my apartment. (Dramatic, but you get the idea.) A refreshing salad is exactly what I want!

One of my favorite summer dishes is a Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad because it packs a variety of textures and flavors all in one dish, and it helps me full and satisfied with a healthy balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates!

I like to look for a Nicoise salad on menus when I’m ordering out at restaurants because it always tastes so delicious, and it’s a very healthy option. I’ll never forget my first tuna nicoise salad at Urth Caffe in Los Angeles – so many memories. Even though it’s a great option when you’re eating out, making one at home is even better, though, because you know exactly what’s going in it!

Salads have a bad reputation for being boring, but that’s a very unfair generalization. I can assure you that this Seared Tuna Nicoise Salad is anything but boring! The ingredients are simple on their own, but when paired together, you have the perfect medley of flavors.

I love tuna, but I’m pretty picky about what it’s paired with, especially because I don’t have it often. That’s why I love this salad – these vegetables are the ideal pairing for tuna! If you’ve never tried searing your tuna before, it’s very simple and has an incredible flavor. There’s nothin’ like a little crisp on the outside next to the juicy flavor of raw tuna on the inside – it’s the best of both worlds if you love sashimi and cooked fish!

This salad is light and fresh while still being filling and satisfying! It can be served warm or cold, which makes it a great prep-ahead salad!

Feel free to leave out any of the ingredients you don’t like, or add things in if you want to! That’s why salads are great – you can customize them any way you want, but the key to a great salad is adding lots of different colors and flavors, and a killer dressing.

That’s another reason why I love this salad – the vinaigrette! It’s light and fresh but the flavor packs a big punch, and it pulls the vegetables together perfectly. This dressing would be delicious over any steamed vegetable or other protein source besides tuna, too. Since some of these vegetables are steamed, the dressing really makes the flavor shine through.

If you’re just getting into healthy eating and want to impress your partner, family, or friend, give this recipe a shot! Almost everyone knows what a Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise salad is, but not everyone knows how to make one themselves!

This recipe is paleo, pescatarian-friendly, keto-friendly, and low carb. It’s rich in healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates to keep you satisfied for hours, but the taste will leave you wanting even more!

Paleo Seared Ahi Tuna Nicoise Salad

Total time: 45 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb yellowfin or ahi tuna
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • ½ lb small fingerling potatoes or yellow potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, halved
  • ½ lb haricots verts
  • 1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • ¼ red onion, julienned 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your over to 400*F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut your fingerling potatoes in half and coat them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. 
  3. While your potatoes are in the oven, boil a pot of heavily salted water. Blanch the haricots verts until cooked through (around 5 minutes) and transfer to an ice bath. Reserve on the side.
  4. In the same water, boil your eggs for 8 minutes, and then transfer the eggs to the ice bath. Peel the eggs and slice them into circles. Set aside.
  5. Pat your tuna dry, and heavily salt it. Add the cayenne seasoning. Add olive oil and the tuna to a hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear both sides until brown, including the thinner sides. Sear each side for 1-2 minutes and set aside to rest.
  6. While the tuna is resting, make the vinaigrette by whisking together all of the ingredients. Slice the tuna against the grain. 
  7. Assemble your salad by combining all of the ingredients together in two large bowls, and drizzle the dressing on top! 

 

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