We combined the classic Niçoise combo of haricots verts, potatoes, hard-cooked eggs, tuna, and olives with whole-grain rye berries, which have a nutty, faintly peppery-tangy flavor. If you can’t find them, use farro or wheat berries.
1 cup uncooked rye berries
4 large eggs
8 ounces small red potatoes
8 ounces haricots verts (French green beans) or green beans
1 (8-oz.) tuna steak (1/2-inch-thick)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Place rye berries in a medium saucepan; add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 5 minutes. Carefully add eggs; cover and simmer 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Cover saucepan, and continue to cook rye berries, stirring occasionally, until tender but still chewy, 18 to 23 minutes. Drain and rinse rye berries. Peel eggs, and halve crosswise.
Place potatoes in a saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add haricots verts; simmer 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer haricots verts to a bowl of ice water. Continue to cook potatoes until tender, 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain and rinse with cold water. Cut potatoes into quarters.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high 5 minutes. Lightly coat tuna with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with salt, ground fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Add tuna, and cook to desired degree of doneness, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side for rare. Remove from skillet.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, Dijon, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
Stir together rye berries, parsley, and half of dressing. Divide mixture evenly among 4 bowls. Top with potatoes, haricots verts, tomatoes, and olives. Thinly slice tuna against the grain. Top salads evenly with tuna slices and egg halves. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
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