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January 31, 2011 / amyjmcintosh

Tuna-friendly salad Nicoise

With the mercury rising to 44 degrees in some parts of Australia this week, I thought a salad recipe was in order. Something cold and crunchy that can be cooked in the great Aussie outdoors with a glass of wine in one hand and a pair of tongs in the other.

In the same way you either love or hate country music, you’ll either welcome this recipe with open arms or hope to God that you never see it again. You see, it contains one of those ingredients that polarises people. Tuna. Personally, I love the stuff, but preferably not from a can. Give me fillets any day and I’ll be as happy as Larry (whoever that is).

Just the thing for a hot, balmy summer's day.

A great recipe for those who can't eat wheat or gluten.

Apparently Salad Niçoise hails from the city of Nice in southern France, hence the name. I went to Nice once, but I can’t say I liked it. I was backpacking at the time, so I dare say that the backpackers’ hostel where I stayed didn’t really show Nice in all its niceness. I also recall seeing heaps of people with bandages around their heads, arms, wrists, legs. So much so, that my travel buddies and I started a game of who could spot the most people wearing bandages. True story.

Anyway, I digress. This recipe really is worth cooking (if you like tuna). Don’t tell my newly-acquired recipe for green mango salad, but Salad Niçoise is vying for the number one spot on my “Wow, This is Amazing” salad list. And why not, really. It’s healthy, low-fat, gluten-free, dairy-free and bloody delicious!

Best cooked with free-range eggs and sustainable tuna

Gluten-free Salad Nicoise

Now, for the bad news. Whilst researching this blog post, I went to Greenpeace‘s website to find out about sustainable seafood. I’ve been keen to get the low down on ethical seafood since a trip to Thailand last year where I saw them fleecing fish from the oceans. It got me thinking, what happens when they fish all the fish from the sea?

Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise

It turns out that I have loads of work to do on improving my fish eating habits. For one, I shouldn’t be eating so much tuna and salmon as they’re endangered. Check out Greenpeace’s fish red list for more info (or even better, print it out and stick it on your fridge). The Southern Bluefin is critically endangered, and Bigeye and Yellowfin Tuna are both overfished. So, you’re best to ask your fishmonger for Skipjack Tuna from Australia and NZ, or from pole and line fisheries in the Pacific.

Salad Nicoise

Salad Nicoise

Compliments of the wonderful people at Greenpeace, here’s a quick guide to what you should be asking your fishmonger next time you buy fish to help protect our oceans and fisheries.

1. What is it and where was it caught? This is the minimum a supplier should be able to tell you and will help you avoid red list species.
2. How was it caught? A lot of fishing is not selective. This is specially true for bottom trawling, which is highly destructive.
3. Do you have a policy for sourcing only truly sustainable seafood? Retailers have a responsibility to be part of the solution, not the problem.
* If they cannot answer these questions, let them know you’ll be buying your seafood from a retailer that can.

Anyway folks, as long as you cook this recipe with Skipjack tuna, everyone (including the little fishies) will be happy. So, here’s the recipe for Skipjack tuna Nicoise from Bon appetit!

If you like seafood, why not check out this Thai salmon salad recipe.

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