Niçoise Salad Lettuce Cups with Caper Vinaigrette are the most delightful appetizer or light meal, not to mention, a super fun tuna salad to eat with your hands.
I used oil cured albacore tuna, not just your average canned tuna, but a nicer quality that pops with fresh ocean flavors. I prefer oil based tuna over tuna that has been stored in water because the taste is deeper, and more full bodied. The oil keeps the tuna tender and juicy, which flakes beautifully, so it’s easy to place upon a crunchy lettuce leaf.
Fermented or pickled vegetables (salt cured carrots, cauliflower or giardiniera, etc.) create the right crunch on top of the tuna, different from the traditional haricot vert or French green beans in a traditional Niçoise. A six-minute egg and a caper vinaigrette are the creamy components that brings these cups together. No-cook finger foods are a simple appetizer to kick off an evening or to serve for lunch or a light dinner.
8 bib or gem lettuce leaves
6 ounces oil cured albacore tuna
1/2 cup fermented or pickled vegetables, any variety
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers
pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons neutral oil
- Place eggs in a small saucepan filled with cold water. Boil for 6 minutes, then cover for 2 minutes and drain.
- Place lettuce leaves on a serving platter or board.
- Top each leaf with equal amounts of tuna. Top the tuna with a couple of fermented vegetables (I used carrots).
- Remove shells from eggs and slice into quarters. Place eggs on top of vegetables and remaining around board.
- In a small ramekin, whisk together mustard, capers, salt, pepper and sugar. While whisking, drizzle in oil slowly until emulsified or slightly thickened.
- Spoon vinaigrette over lettuce cups and serve remaining alongside. Enjoy!