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Seared Tuna Nicoise

Each bite-sized salade nicoise has diced hard-cooked egg, green beans, and nicoise olives atop seared tuna coated in sesame seeds and pepper.

  • Yield: Makes about 24 pieces

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2003


  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt, plus more for cooking water
  • 1/4 pound haricots verts, ends trimmed
  • 4 sushi-quality tuna steaks (1 pound and about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 1 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound nicoise olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Basil Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 bunch basil, for garnish


  1. Prepare an ice bath. Place eggs in a small saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to ice bath to cool. Remove eggs, reserving ice bath. Peel eggs; set aside.
  2. Refill saucepan with water, and bring to a boil over high heat; add a generous amount of salt. Add green beans; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, and plunge beans into ice bath. Drain; pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Use a sharp knife to slice each tuna steak into two 1 1/2-inch-wide bars, about 4 inches long. Spread sesame seeds, salt, and pepper on a plate; toss to combine. Dredge tuna in mixture, gently pressing to adhere and turning to coat all sides.
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat until it feels hot when you place your palm just above it, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil; heat until hot but not smoking, about 1 minute.
  5. Working in batches, carefully place tuna bars in skillet, about 1-inch apart. Cook until tuna releases easily from the skillet and seeds are fragrant, about 1 minute per side, turning to sear all four long sides. The tuna will be very rare in the center. Increase cooking time for more well-done tuna. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Tuna can be covered in plastic and refrigerated up to 1 day.
  6. Finely chop hard-boiled eggs, and cut beans into 1/2-inch-long pieces; combine in a bowl. Add olives, and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons basil oil. Gently toss ingredients together to coat.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice tuna into 1-inch squares. Drizzle with basil oil. Spoon the egg mixture over each slice; garnish with a small sprig of basil.

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