Based on the ancient Niçoise pissala, a paste of ground anchovies, this dish goes beyond the Niçoise salad, using green beans, fried tomatoes and a coddled egg. The two-minute egg that actually takes thirty minutes is a great little trick in its own right to use for all sorts of salads.
Place eggs in a pan of simmering water and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Pound 4 of the anchovy fillets to a paste. Add vinegar and pepper, and whisk in the olive oil until dressing thickens.
Cook green beans in simmering, salted water for 3 minutes. Drain, cool under cold running water and set aside. Slice each tomato into 2 large discs, discarding top and bottom discs. Fry tomatoes in a little extra olive oil on both sides until browned and soft.
Grill tuna, or sear in a hot pan for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn and quickly cook other side, leaving the centre pink. Leave to rest for 3 minutes.
Place a fried tomato in centre of each plate. Toss beans in the dressing and pile high on tomatoes. Rinse and dry remaining anchovy fillets, and cut in half lengthwise. Place tuna on top of beans, garnish with the anchovy fillet, and then drizzle with remaining dressing. Cut off the top of each egg and nestle egg to one side.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.