Keller's killer tartine

Not to rub it in…but it was an absolutely beautiful day here in Southern California.  Sunny skies and I believe we topped out at 80°. I played some tennis (not very well I might add), sat outside and got a little further along in my current read; Garlic and Sapphires, Ruth Reichl’s book on her life as a restaurant critic for the New York Times, and also decided to make a tuna sandwich for lunch. But not just “a tuna sandwich”; I made Thomas Keller’s’ Tuna Niçoise Tartine, which I adapted from a Bouchon Bakery recipe, and of course had to blog about it, because it is blog worthy.

It is made with a confit of garlic, which is amazingly sweet and creamy, so you won’t have to add as much oil and egg to the aïoli, the base for this little masterpiece. Use the best quality tuna packed in oil that you can find and top with hard-boiled eggs, butter lettuce, thinly sliced radishes and a few Niçoise olives scattered over the top and you have a killer sandwich for any day of the week, rain or shine.


Tuna Niçoise Tartine

adapted from Thomas Keller's recipe from Bouchon Bakery

  • 4 thick slices whole grain or pain de campagne* , to serve
  • 4 butter lettuce leaves, to serve
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, thinly sliced, to serve
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced, to serve
  • 8 Niçoise olives, pitted, to serve

To serve: finely chopped chives, sweet paprika and extra-virgin olive oil

Confit garlic aïoli

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Tuna salad

  • 2 tsp. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. each finely chopped cornichon, shallot and capers
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 can tuna pack in oil, drained

For confit garlic aïoli, combine garlic and ½ cup olive oil in a small saucepan, cook over low heat until garlic is soft (20-30 minutes). Strain (reserve garlic), combine garlic oil with canola oil and remaining olive oil, set aside. Process egg, lemon juice and reserved garlic in a small food processor or blender until smooth (1-2 minutes). With motor running, gradually add combined oils and process until thick and emulsified. Season to taste, adjust consistency with a little water if necessary, and set aside.

For tuna salad, combine 2-3 tablespoons garlic aïoli, herbs, cornichon, shallot, capers and lemon juice in a bowl. Add tuna and mix until just combined, season to taste.

To serve, spread two bread slices with a little garlic aïoli, top each with two lettuce leaves, layer with tuna salad, egg and radish slices. Garnish with olives, chives and paprika, drizzle with oil, top with remaining bread slices and serve immediately.

*Pain de campagne is a round French country-style loaf similar to sourdough. If unavailable substitute sourdough.

serves 2