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Albacore Nicoise Salad Cups with Honey-Lemon Dressing

Albacore Nicoise Salad Cups with Lemon Dressing

Delicious, healthy and beautiful Niçoise Salad Cups -- a lovely display of fresh ingredients!

*Please note that 30 minutes of the prep time is marinating time, and if you do the milk soak, it will add an additional 20 minutes.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine French
Keyword party food, pretty salads, light and healthy recipes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 7 minutes
Soaking Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 358 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 1 (approximately 1-pound) albacore tuna loin
  • ¾ cup milk, 1 or 2% — optional (see recipe instruction no. 1)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, washed and dried, finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, washed and dried, finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a bit more for the pan)
  • 4 large hard boiled eggs, sliced thinly
  • 2 small heads butter lettuce
  • 12 small dill sprigs, washed and dried
  • ½ small to medium sized avocado, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Nicoise or Kalamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup tomatoes, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon yellow onion, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the dressing,

  1. In a very small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard and honey, and then gradually add the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the salad

  1. If you prefer your fish to be as mild as possible, to remove some of the “fishy” taste from the albacore, soak it in the milk for 20 minutes. You can do this in a large zip-lock bag or a bowl, and it should be refrigerated. When you remove it from he milk, pat it dry with paper towels and proceed with the recipe.
  2. In a tiny bowl, mix the oregano, thyme, garlic and olive oil together. Place the albacore in a large baking dish and then rub the herb mixture all over it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Once it’s very hot, sprinkle the marinated albacore with salt and pepper, and then add it to the pan. You should hear it sizzle when it hits the pan — otherwise, wait until you do. Sear each side of to brown it nicely, and then turn the heat to low-medium to cook it to the desired doneness. To cook it through, it will be about 7 minutes or so. To keep the center rare, it will be about 4 minutes or so. Remove it from the pan and set it aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Cut the root ends off the lettuce heads and carefully pull off about 1 dozen leaves. Use a damp towel to gently clean them and place them on a large serving platter, round side down.
  5. Add a small dill sprig to each lettuce leaf, followed by 1 or 2 avocado slices and about 2 slices of egg. Now thinly slice the albacore, and evenly distribute it among the lettuce cups, on top of the egg. Then sprinkle the entire platter with the tomatoes, olives, capers and onion.
  6. Drizzle the desired amount of the dressing over the lettuce cups and serve.