Happy Bastille Day!! What a perfect occasion for some Parian style cuisine. well, actually, we didn’t realize it’s Bastille Day until we walked into Bouchon Bakery. Bouchon Bakery in Timer Warner Center is definitely one of our favorite restaurants in the city. Whenever we come to Columbus Circle, even though there are many other restaurants in the area, Bouchon Bakery is always our go-to place for a nice and simple sit-down lunch.
As we sat down at the bar, we were presented with the Bastille Day Special Pre-fixe Menu – A three course lunch with dishes like moules au saffron, poulet roti with polenta, and peach melba for 38 dollars, not a bad deal at all. I can’t say we weren’t tempted, but we both went for the Tuna Niçoise Tartine on the regular menu instead. There’s something magical about this Tuna Niçoise here, we (or at least me) can never manage to turn it down. The tartine is basically an open-faced sandwich– with a big generous mountain of tuna salad on a slice of fresh pain de campagne (which is a round French country-style loaf similar to sourdough), topped with thinly sliced radishes, eggs and sprinkles of sweet paprika and fresh chives. The tartine is served with a side of field green salad and baby pickles, just enough to round out a perfect meal. Instead of drowning the tuna in heavy mayonnaise, Bouchon Bakery’s chef, Tomas Keller, blends the tuna with shallots, capers and other herbs for a flavorful mix, and finishes it with Garlic Aioli to give it the sweet and creamy sensation. This is a tuna niçoise sandwich that bursts with flavors, yet nothing overwhelms the freshness tastes of the tuna, it’s creamy but light,… ahhh…. it’s just extremely satisfying and yet healthy. How I want to give the chef an award for this wonderful creation. Even the bartender told us that this dish has changed a lot of people’s impression on tuna salad. It is no doubt one of the best sandwiches on our lists.
We walked out of the bakery feeling all nourished and happy, wondering how great if we could get the recipe for this yumminess…..AND, guess what I found in one of my magazine teared pages, THE RECIPE!! It’s unfortunate that name of the magazine was torn off, but i’m glad the recipe was kept untouched. We haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but here it is…. and we sure will have another post once we get our hands on it..
Tomas Keller’s Tuna Niçoise Tartine
Adapted by Bouchon Bakery
Serves 2 / Prep time 30 mins; Cooking time 20 mins (plus cooling)
- 2 Thick slices pain de campagne (or sourdough if not available)
- 2 Leaves of butter lettuce
- 2 Hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced
- 8 Niçoise olives
- Finely chopped chives, sweet paprika, extra virgin online oil to serve
Confit Garlic Aioli
- 3 Garlic, peeled
- 3/4 Cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 Cup Canola oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
For Tuna Salad
- 2 tsp flat-leave parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp chervil (or celery if not available), finely chopped
- 1 tsp chives, finely chopped
- 1 tsp golden shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp capers, finely chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 5 oz drained canned tuna in oil
- For confit garlic aïoli, combine garlic and half the olive oil in a small saucepan, cook over low hear 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 until smooth. Add combined oils and process until thick and emulsified. season to taste, adjust consistency with a little water if necessary.
- For tuna salad, combine 1/4 cup of garlic aïoli, herbs, shallot, capers and lemon juice in a bowl. Add tuna and mix until just combined, season to taste.
- To serve, spread the bread slices with a little garlic aïoli, top each with lettuce leaves, layer with tuna salad, egg and radish slices. Garnish with lives, chives and paprika, drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.
- Bon Appétit!!