I fell in love with this recipe in a heartbeat. It just looked so fresh, so complex and yet so simple to make. It’s the invention of Molly Baz who is a Senior Associate Food Editor at Bon Appetit. She took her farmer’s market finds and put together in this brilliant toast. It can be served at lunch, brunch or suppertime. It takes the basic elements of a Salade Nicoise and puts them on crisp brown slices of Sourdough bread toasted in olive oil.
I used really good Italian tuna, organic eggs and, because we won’t see a great vine-ripened tomato here for at least another month, a multi-colored array of grape and cherry tomatoes. Hidden under the tuna is a glorious mayonnaise spiked with hot smoked Paprika and fresh minced garlic. This is topped first with tuna, then with tomatoes bathed in lemon juice. The partially hard-cooked eggs add another texture to the dish and a garnish of greens from a clam-shell salad mix give a jolt of green to the recipe.
In many ways, I knew I would love this. I had just gone to my second Pizza restaurant opening in three weeks. At one, reported here last week, the pizza was Napoli on a plate. Thin crusted, it came together in just 90 seconds. The second opening was a Roman pizzeria called “Alla Pala”, freshly opened in Eataly Flatiron (200 Fifth Ave at 23rd St.) There the pizza crust rose into billows of dought and the fresh toppings were a revelation. (That review is pending.). The Nicoise Toasts are members of the same family. Like pizza, there’s protein, vegetables and carbs all in one bite. The bread is the crust and the “Nicoise” ingredients the topping. While it certainly doesn’t match the 90 seconds it takes to make Napoli’s pizza, it takes well under 30 seconds to make the toasts. Try this recipe for a light, satisfying dinner. Serve it at your next summer lunch. I think you’ll find this is a winner all summer long. I made this for two, halving the quantities in the recipe. This will make four of these wonderful toasts. Here is the recipe:
A very satisfying dish that's perfect for warm weather lunches, brunches and suppers
- 4 large eggs
- 1 lb. Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- A pinch of sugar
- A pinch of Kosher Salt
- 1 finely grated Garlic glove
- ½ Cup Mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. Hot Smoked Paprika
- 4 tbsp. Olive Oil, halved
- 4 slices of Sourdough Bread, ½ inch thick
- 1 6-7 oz jars of Oil Packed Tuna, drained
- Flaky Sea Salt
- ½ cup torn tender greens
- Olive oil to drizzle over finished Toasts.
- Step 1 Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Gently lower in the eggs using a slotted spoon. Cook for 8 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Peel the eggs.
- Step 2 Toss the tomatoes, cut in half, in the juice of 1 whole lemon adding a pinch of sugar and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Step 3 To make the mayonnaise, in a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup of mayonnaise, the finely minced garlic clove, the red wine vinegar and the paprika. Season with kosher salt.
- Step 4 Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook 2 slices of sourdough bread until they are deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Repeat with another 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 more slices of bread.
- Step 5 Transfer the bread to a platter, sprinkle the fried side with kosher salt. Spread the mayonnaise over the fried side. Top with drained oil-packed tuna.
- Step 6 Spoon tomato mixture and some of its juice over the tuna. Cut the eggs into quarters and set on top. Season with flaky sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Scatter greens over, drizzle with oil and serve.