Simple Nicoise Toast Recipe

A Nicoise salad is a safe bet on any restaurant menu. The hard-boiled egg, potato, tomato, and tuna create a tasty combination that leaves you feeling satisfied yet not uncomfortably stuffed. Enjoying a Nicoise salad at home though? This feels a bit out of reach. So how about trying this take on the Nicoise salad — on toast! 

"I love salads and eat them quite often. I thought a tuna Nicoise toast would be a nice pared-down version of the salad," Jaime Shelbert, who shares recipes and cooking tips at Wholly Nourished, told Mashed. "It's great for lunch or brunch," she added. And don't feel intimidated, because her recipe uses canned tuna and a simple aioli that will make your meal look and taste impressive, without any complicated steps or techniques to master.

So, grab a loaf of your favorite rustic bread and just a few simple, fresh ingredients, and you are ready to make Nicoise toast!

Gather your Nicoise toast ingredients

The shopping list for your Nicoise toast includes some ingredients you are sure to have on hand, like four eggs, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, and red wine vinegar

Shelbert's Nicoise toast also calls for a cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, which you will quarter. What's the difference, you ask? Cherry tomatoes are round and a wee bit larger than oval-shaped grape tomatoes, which are also known to be a bit meatier. Which you go with is simply a matter of preference, or what's available at the market.

Meanwhile, you will need a shallot as well, along with salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, a can of tuna, with Shelbert recommending you go with the version that is packed in oil, kalamata olives, also packed in oil, fresh dill, and finally, four slices of rustic bread, like sourdough. Feeling ambitious? Why not try making your own sourdough?

Prep your eggs

The first step to pulling off a lunch or brunch dish your family and friends will be raving about long after the dishes are done is to make the hard-boiled eggs. Shelbert instructs home cooks to place the eggs in a pan and cover them with water. You will heat the eggs over high heat until the water comes to a rapid boil. Next, cover the pot with a lid, removing it from the heat. Set a timer for eight minutes.

Once the timer goes off, place the eggs in an ice bath, with Shelbert noting this stops the cooking process. Now, peel the shells — some swear adding vinegar to the water will help with this step — and quarter the eggs. Set them aside. We are going to turn our attention to making the aioli and tomato and shallot topping, which will pack flavor and texture into the meal.

Make the aioli and tomato topping

Shelbert's recipe for simple aioli involves combining the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl, and stirring to combine the ingredients. Not familiar with what aioli is? "Aioli means garlic and oil and is popular in Mediterranean cuisine," Shelbert told Mashed, adding, "Here I used mayonnaise instead of olive oil for a spread." It's worth noting many aiolis will incorporate egg into the emulsion. A 100 percent pure aioli is, as Shelbert notes, simply garlic and oil. Here, the mayo adds thickness and the lemon juice provides a citrusy bite.

Okay, so you have your hard-boiled eggs and your aioli. Now, you will take a separate bowl and combine the quartered tomatoes, your sliced shallot, and the red wine vinegar. Season the mixture generously with salt and pepper, and then, let's talk about toasting your bread before we assemble these colorful, delicious little Nicoise toasts.

Toast the bread

To make your toast, Shelbert instructs home cooks to drizzle the rustic bread slices evenly with olive oil. Meanwhile, go ahead and heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Each bread slice goes oil side down on the pan. Grill the bread until it is nice and toasted and you have achieved gorgeous grill marks. Shelbert notes this will take about three minutes. "Press down on the bread to really achieve the marks," she advises. Next, flip the bread, toasting the underside for just one minute more. 

"I like to toast the bread this way to get the char marks and flavor from a seasoned grill pan," Shelbert told us, but she added toasting the bread in a toaster or in the oven will work just fine as well if you don't have a grill pan, or the time to pull this off. 

Assemble the nicoise toast

Your final step before assembling your meal is to drain the excess oil from the canned tuna. Now, to build your toast, the first step is to spread on the aioli. Next, the tomato and shallot mixture gets layered on. Add the tuna, the hard-boiled eggs quarters, and the olives. Shelbert likes to add a garnish of fresh dill at the very end.

"I pared down a typical Nicoise, which usually contains potatoes and haricot verts," she said. Missing those ingredients? Why not make some boiled potatoes and beans as sides, along with a simple salad? Either way, enjoy! 

Simple Nicoise Toast Recipe
5 from 6 ratings
We've taken the classic Nicoise salad and adopted it into toast form. This fresh and filling brunch staple not only looks stunning but tastes delicious.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Nicoise Toast served on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly into rings
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices rustic bread, like sourdough
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 5-ounce can tuna packed in oil
  • ½ cup kalamata olives in oil
  • fresh dill for topping
Directions
  1. To make the hard-boiled eggs, place the eggs in a pan and cover with water. Heat over high heat.
  2. When the water comes to a rapid boil cover the pan with a lid and remove from heat. After 8 minutes place the eggs in an ice bath.
  3. Peel the eggs and slice into quarters.
  4. To make the simple aioli combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the tomatoes, shallot, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle the bread slices evenly with olive oil and heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  7. Place the bread oil side down in the pan and grill until toasted with grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip and toast the underside one minute more.
  8. Drain excess oil from the tuna and assemble the toasts by spreading the aioli first and topping each slice evenly with the tomato and shallot mixture, tuna, eggs, and olives. Top with a garnish of fresh dill.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 683
Total Fat 26.8 g
Saturated Fat 5.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 172.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 78.8 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Total Sugars 8.9 g
Sodium 1,256.8 mg
Protein 31.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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