This always makes me think of Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in "To Catch a Thief." I don't remember them tucking into a Salad Nicoise together, but it is rather South of France don't you think?
It really is more of an assembly job rather than requiring any complicated cooking skills, but it looks like you've gone to enormous trouble. If you don't feel like springing for fresh tuna, it can still be lovely with good quality canned. Just drain, fork into good sized chunks and toss gently in the vinaigrette below.
If you are using fresh tuna, buy the best you can afford. Serve it with a lovely glass of chilled dry white wine (pretend you're Grace Kelly or Cary Grant) and think of it as a bit of a treat.
Here's what you'll need to get started:
2, 3/4 inch thick best possible quality tuna steaks (NOT previously frozen)
1 lb of haricot verts
1 carton of grape or cherry tomatoes
a generous handful of fresh herbs (basil or oregano)
3/4 lb of baby new potatoes
3/4 cup of nicoise olives
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
juice and zest of a lemon
10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
In a medium pan boil the water for the potatoes. Add the potatoes and cook until tender. Drain, put back in the pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place a CLEAN! dish towel over the pan and put the lid on. Make sure the pan is off the heat. This will help the potatoes absorb the flavors from the vinaigrette.
Cook the eggs, peel and quarter.
Meanwhile boil the water for the haricot verts. Place them in the pan boil until the are bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and immediately put into a water bath.
Remove and dry with a dish towel. Put aside.
To cook the tuna, heat a grill pan until it's really hot, don't use any oil or it will smoke and set off all your alarms! Sprinkle the tuna with salt and pepper. Place on the pan and cook for about 2 minutes each side. Don't overcook, make sure it's nice and pink in the center.
Assemble the dish, let your artistic talents take flight!
Drizzle more of the vinaigrette over the fish and vegetables and serve the rest in a bowl on the side of the salad.
To make the vinaigrette mix the vinegar, lemon juice and zest, mustard, salt and pepper together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Check the seasonings as you go along. Set aside.