Yet another one of my reinventions of the Niçoise salad, this is a simple, thick tartine of grilled bread rubbed with strong garlic, spread with a fresh and tangy basil fromage blanc. On top of that a simple, honest salad of fresh, home-roasted tuna, sweet grape tomatoes, black and green olives, capers, olive oil, and lemon. A contrast of sharp flavors and colors, this makes a great lunch or light dinner for when you feel like eating something virtuous and interesting.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup fromage blanc
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tuna steaks, 4 to 5 ounces each
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup halved green and black olives
- 4 teaspoons drained capers in brine
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
- 4 (1-inch thick) slices of rustic bread
- 1 medium clove of garlic, halved
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place basil fromage blanc in the bowl of a food processor and process until well combined. Season to tate with salt and pepper. Spoon into a small bowl, and chill until ready to use.
Season the tuna with salt and pepper, and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 2 teaspoons of olive oil on all sides. Bake until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cut into cubes.
In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, olives, capers, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and gently stir in the chunks of tuna.
Grill or toast the bread, and rub it while it is still hot with the cut side of the garlic clove. Spread some of the basil fromage blanc over the top, and top with the tuna and tomato mixture. Serve right away.