I know — a lot of controversy about fish and Tuna is a biggie! It’s a large predator fish and the larger the fish the more the mercury, that makes this fish a VERY occasional culinary option.
I personally don’t eat tuna very often any longer – 1-3 x a year, I used to eat it 1-3 x a week. But, every now and then – the body can tolerate almost anything. The way it was explained to me is — we do need to eat fish as a healthy protein option. We also need to be mindful about our fish choices and ultimately eat a majority of our fish from deep water, wild caught — smaller fish for the safest dietary choice. And, eating a piece of tuna or swordfish 1-2 a year is not going to be a problem unless you are currently having an issue with mercury.
So, having said that — you can prepare this salad with any fish of your choice. It is a composed salad with each ingredient prepared and dressed separately, instead of a mixed salad where everything is all mixed up already and dressed together. The composed salad is more like an art piece arranged on your plate and you get to mix it as you eat.
I think you can put what ever ingredient you like into any salad, that’s what is fun for me in the kitchen. There are rules and rules are meant to be broken sometimes.
The classic Nicoise Salad that we were taught in school at The French Culinary Institute in New York City is a french composed salad that consists of:
- New Potatoes
- Eggs – hard boiled
- Plum Tomatoes
- Haricots Verts
- Bell Peppers
- Boston or Red Leaf Lettuce
- Canned or Fresh Tuna
- Anchovy Fillets
- Nicoise Olives, pitted
- Classic Vinaigrette
You might notice that I did not add potatoes to this salad and I chose cherry tomatoes instead of plum. I also used regular green beans instead of the fancy french version and opted for fresh tuna steak instead of canned. And, I used romaine lettuce since that is what I had in the kitchen, I love the fresh crunch of romaine lettuce, Boston lettuce is great and I like to use it for salad wraps not always for an actual salad.
That’s me — true to form — I rarely follow a recipe as it is written, it would be unusual that I have all of the exact ingredients indicated on the recipe and I don’t want that to stop me when I am on a mission to make a dish. And, don’t let it stop you either!
The most important thing here with respect to your food — get the best ingredients that you can find and afford, make your meals special and pay attention to the guidelines when portioning your meal. Your body will thank you for it!