Sous Vide Tuna Confit Nicoise Salad With Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette


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The tuna in a classic Nicoise salad recipe is typically prepared so that it is lightly seared with a pink center. In this recipe, I decided to use another French technique to prepare the tuna: confit. This technique is commonly used to preserve foods in a thick layer of fat, giving it an unctuous flavor. The result of my tuna confit — brightly seasoned with Meyer lemon and fresh tarragon — is like gourmet canned tuna! The texture is delectably firm, yet moist and tender. This salad is excellent as a light lunch or dinner. Pair it with a chilled Viognier wine for an added flavor.
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Ingredients for 4

  • 2 (8-ounce) ahi tuna steaks

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 thinly sliced Meyer lemon

  • Zest of one Meyer lemon

  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon, plus 2 sprigs tarragon leaves, minced

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 1/2 shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, boiled until tender and halved

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

  • 1 cup cornichon, halved lengthways

  • 2 tablespoons capers


  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 122ºF (50ºC).

  • Step 2

    Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Place in a large zipper lock or vacuum seal bag with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 4 lemon slices, lemon zest, and whole tarragon sprigs.

  • Step 3

    Seal the bag using the water immersion technique or a vacuum sealer on the moist setting. Place the bag in the water bath and set the timer for 1 hour.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, mustard, and minced tarragon. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 0

      When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.

    • Step 1

      When the tuna is thoroughly chilled, transfer it to a cutting board and slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

    • Step 2

      Assemble the salad: Place the lettuce in a large bowl and dress with vinaigrette. Divide between serving plates and top with tuna slices, potatoes, tomatoes, cornichon, olives, and capers. Serve.

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122 F / 50 C Recipe Temp
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