As the name suggests, this salad traditionally originated from the Southern French town of Nice. James blanches the greens for just a minute in boiling water, so they just lose their bite, then plunges them into cold to refresh them (and stop the cooking process) so they keep their lovely vibrant colour
James also cooks his egg using a method called coddling. This means cooking it for two minutes so it's just started to cook but is basically still runny. It takes the rawness away but means it's still runny enough to whisk into a dressing. That way you get a richer dressing without adding more oil!
100g cooked new potatoes
2 x 160g boneless fresh Tuna loin steaks
80g asparagus spears
50g fine French beans, cut into one inch pieces
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
2 cloves sliced garlic
Zest of half a lemon
80g baby plum tomatoes, cut in half
20g pitted nicoise olives
1 tsp capers
1 tbsp of olive oil for frying
For the dressing
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 coddled egg (see how to coddle above)
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for around 12 minutes. Refresh with cold water then set aside.
Cook the egg in simmering water for two minutes then refresh - the egg should be just coddled (which is barely cooked). Crack the egg into a bowl and whisk in the oil, lemon, Dijon mustard and parsley.
Blanch (put in boiling water briefly then in cold water), the green beans and asparagus spears in salted water for 5 minutes so they keep a firm bite. Refresh in cold water then drain.
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil to a medium heat in a large frying pan then add the onion and sliced garlic and cook for two minutes stirring constantly. Add the green beans, cherry tomatoes, capers, lemon zest, olives, sliced cooked potatoes and asparagus spears and toss the mixture together.
Brush the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil onto both sides of the tuna steaks. Add sea salt and pepper. Sear on the char grill pan for one minute on each side, remove and rest for two minutes - this will give you a pink cooking temperature.
To assemble, check the vegetable mix is heated through. Add to plates, top with halved tuna steak, scatter over rocket and then drizzle with the lemon egg dressing.