Tuna nicoise

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    Starter Portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Meerendal Wine Estate

Wrapping the tuna in vine leaves and then grilling it on an open fire gives such a unique flavour. It adds texture as well. Salty, crunchy with the sweetness of the tuna. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat and it always presents so well.


Vine-leaf wrapped tuna

  • 680 g fresh tuna
  • 200 g brined vine leaves

Tomato and saffron concasse

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 20 ml olive oil
  • pinch saffron
  • salt and pepper

Ginger mayonnaise

  • 200 g mayonnaise
  • 12 ml soya sauce
  • 10 g ginger – grated on a microplane
  • 4 g black sesame seeds – toasted
  • ½ lemon – the zest

Fine green beans

  • 80 g fine green beans – weight once topped and tailed
  • boiling salted water
  • ice water


  • 8 large eggs
  • ice water
  • dried olives
  • 24 baby gem inside leaves
  • 40 batons chives


Portion eight 85 g servings of the fresh tuna and wrap each in a brined vine leaf before grilling to medium rare.

Blanch tomatoes and remove the skin. Cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh petals into 5mm dice and mix with the olive oil and a pinch of saffron. Leave at room temperature for 1–2 hours, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the ginger mayonnaise, fold all the ingredients together, and leave the mixture to infuse for 24 hours.

Blanch the green beans in boiling salted water for 2 minutes until crisp tender. Refresh in ice water and split each bean down the centre lengthways.

Place the eggs in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Set a timer for 12 minutes from boiling point. Once the time is up, remove the eggs and place in ice water. Peel and grate enough eggs to give you 160 g.

To assemble, arrange as you wish, or by following the photo. Place an 85 g piece of seared tuna on each plate, and top with 10 g fine green beans, and then a spoonful of the ginger mayonnaise. Spoon over 10 g tomato and saffron concasse and its juices as a dressing. Place 20 g grated egg on the side, and finish with about 10 g dried olives, 3 baby gem leaves and 5 chive batons.