Lunch is the one meal of the day that I struggle to think of ideas for. It’s my own fault though. Working from home means that I am on the go all day, and don’t take a lunch break as such. I’ll make something, eat it, sometimes, shamefully, while at my desk or whilst trying to do something else, and then get back to work.
When I think of lunch, I want something tasty, healthy and easy to make. It also needs to be filling – I work long days and try not to snack in between meals. I do like to make salads for lunch, but as I feel as though I am constantly living out of a bag, I don’t always have as much fresh food in as I would like to – simply as I am never in one place long enough to eat it up.
Tuna niçoise salad is a great fall-back recipe for me. I generally have the ingredients to hand in the fridge and it’s really good for you. This week, I tried it with fresh tuna steaks, as part of my attempt to eat fish twice a week for the Fish is the Dish healthy, happy hearts campaign. It made a great lunch: very filling and flavoursome, and on the table within 15 minutes. This is a great lunch to make for friends and family, too.
Tuna niçoise salad
For the salad
2 large free-range eggs
200g french beans, topped and tailed
2 fresh tuna steaks
1 large romaine lettuce, washed and sliced
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp black olives
1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped
4 anchovies (I like to use La Monegasque in olive oil)
Some fresh basil leaves
For the dressing
1 clove of garlic
fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
Boil the eggs and steam the beans. The eggs should take 7 minutes once the reach the boil (always start them off in cold water), and the beans need to steam for around 5 minutes – you don’t want to overcook them. Drain the beans once cooked and remove the shell from the eggs and cut them into quarters.
Heat a large pan and cook the tuna steaks for around 2-3 minutes on each side. It’s fine if they are still pink inside. I like to use a griddle pan to cook the tuna. Once cooked, cut the steaks into slices.
Whilst the above ingredients are cooking, lay out the remaining salad ingredients onto a large serving dish.
Make up the dressing by bashing all the ingredients bar the olive oil together in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Now, add the olive oil and mix well. Set aside.
Once the eggs, beans and tuna are prepared, lay them out onto the salad on the serving dish. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.