For the vinaigrette:
100ml white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
Sprig of fresh tarragon
1 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
350ml extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
4 medium free-range eggs
12 new potatoes, peeled
200g French beans, topped but leaving the tail
16 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
80g pitted black olives
8 anchovy fillets in vinegar
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
200g good-quality tinned tuna in spring water, drained
2 baby gem lettuce, separated into leaves
How to make Nicoise Salad
1) For the vinaigrette, gently warm the vinegar, 50ml water, garlic and tarragon together in a pan. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain into a bowl and whisk in the mustard. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously. Set aside.
2) For the salad, set a small pan of water on to boil and cook the eggs for 7 minutes until hard boiled. Cool.
3) Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Refresh under cold water. When cold, slice into 1cm-thick pieces and place in a bowl.
4) Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, season with salt and cook the French beans for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove and plunge straight into iced water. Drain and add to the potatoes.
5) Add the tomatoes, olives, anchovies, onion, tuna and lettuce leaves. Dress the salad with about 5 tablespoons of vinaigrette and toss. Peel and quarter the eggs and place on top. Serve immediately.
* Cook’s Note: Whenever you make a salad, make sure that after washing the leaves or vegetables, you get rid of as much water as possible. Any remaining water will dilute the flavour of the vinaigrette