If you search for Julia Child’s favourite recipes online this is clearly the front-runner. A colourful combination of tuna, anchovies, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs and lettuce tied together by an aromatic herbed French vinaigrette.
It’s an ideal lunchbox companion, or enjoy as an appetiser or as a main course summer salad. Make a double or triple batch of dressing and keep refrigerated in a jar for up to two weeks to have on hand when needed. Salmon or swordfish make a great substitute for the tuna. When using old-school canned tuna, go for chunks in brine or spring water and break them into large flakes.
- Place water in mixing bowl, place eggs in simmering basket and insert in the bowl. Put the potatoes into the Varoma dish and set the Varoma into position on top of the lid of the mixing bowl, then steam for 18–20 minutes/Varoma/speed 3.
- Remove the simmering basket with aid of spatula and drop the eggs in cold water to cool down. Return the Varoma dish into place.
- Lay the beans onto the Varoma tray, insert on top of the potatoes and cook a further 7 minutes/Varoma/speed 3. Check the potatoes are cooked through, if they are not, remove the beans and cook a few extra minutes.
- Run beans and potatoes under cold water or drop into an ice bath to stop the cooking process, then set aside to drain and cool until needed (if you are not making the salad immediately, you may refrigerate these for up to 3 days).
- For the French dressing, place shallot and garlic in mixing bowl and chop 3 seconds/speed 7. Add mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper then mix 10 seconds/speed 4. Scrape down sides of the mixing bowl, add chives then mix 5 seconds/speed 4.
- If using fresh tuna steaks, season with salt and pepper and sear 2 minutes on each side on a hot grill plate. Rest for 5 minutes before cutting into slices.
- To serve, peel and slice the potatoes and shell and quarter the eggs. Place the salad leaves around the edges of the bowl, then arrange the sliced potatoes, beans, tomatoes, olives, eggs, anchovies and tuna. Finish with the fresh basil and drizzle the dressing over.