Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Tin Tin Salad

Two weeks ago I read the latest Food52 challenge: canned seafood. Good! I love this stuff. So here is what I submitted.

The Tin Tin Tiffin Salade Niçoise

In a strange way this is tuna tinned twice. A tiffin walla is an Indian lunch pail, great for compartmentalizing things for your middle of the day meal. However this salad is totally French. One of the trends of the past ten or twelve years was for restaurants to serve Salad Niçoise with seared ahi tuna, which is an absolute affront to its history. This is a lunch to be carried to work or into the field and canned tuna is absolutely essential to its character. I once listened to Colman Andrews rant on this subject but I’m not going there. This is delicious on its own without some sissified New York City ahi version. Okay, sorry, I went there. Ingredients are per portion so multiply as needed.


Field greens. Don’t have a field? Well then grab an assortment of lettuces such as romaine and other colorful ones at the market. Maybe some cress. That’s up to you.

1 3.5 ounce tin of olive oil packed tuna. We really like Ortiz and As Do Mar.*

2 to 4 of your best anchovies. If you happen to have boquerones well, ooh la la.

3 or 4 small white potatoes, like creamers

A fistful of haricots vertes, that’s green beans to you buddy

3 or 4 fat radishes

1 hard cooked egg

4 or 5 luques olives or pichioline (or whatever you like; Tin Tin likes luques)

Fresh tarragon, chopped

For the dressing 2 parts best olive oil (we recommend California Olive Ranch), 1 part white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.

Sea salt and ground pepper


Rinse the greens

Simmer the potatoes in salted water until tender and then slice in half.

Simmer the green beans until tender and then shock in a cold water bath. That sets the color. For convenience you can use the same water you cooked the potatoes in.

Thinly slice the radishes

Chop the tarragon and whisk into the dressing

Open the can of tuna (don’t cut yourself)

Assemble with greens on the bottom, followed by potatoes, radish, haricots, tuna, anchovies, egg and olives. Season with salt and pepper.

Finish with the dressing. If you are actually taking this out into the field or your cubicle you can hold this back in a separate container within your tiffin. E voila!

*Note to cook; the quality of the tuna and anchovies really matters. High quality canned tuna can excite your imagination but it can also be really expensive, although less expensive than that seared ahi on your faux Salade Niçoise


marina said...

Funny - I entered a salmon salad in the mayo contest on food52 and packed its individual parts into a tiffin for a picnic. It's the perfect contraption for such a meal. - savorthis

fhp said...

Wadda mean "on the bottom". The bottom of what? This is a salade compose (where's the accent egu?) and each ingredient should have its own little domain on the plate. Piled nicoise are terrible and are rampant everywhere in SO CA where it all gets tossed into mush.