Serving salad as a main course can be tricky; even the most health-conscious diner tends to see a plate of green and feel deprived. The secret to whipping up a hearty salad is adding protein (in this case, tuna) and letting good-for-you veggies like cherry tomatoes and green beans take the lead. “This salad behaves like a meal,” says Anne Sachs, glamour.com’s editorial director. She’s right: The olives, scallions, and Dijon deliver salad-y flavor, but the tuna, potatoes, and eggs give it main-dish heft.
Serves 3 to 4 as a lunchtime main course
3 to 4 large eggs
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 head lettuce (ideally romaine or red-leaf), coarsely chopped
Two 5-ounce cans tuna (olive oil– packed solid white tuna is best)
3 medium red potatoes, boiled and chopped (optional)
3 scallions, chopped
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus additional for garnish
4 anchovy fillets, quartered (optional)
½ cup olives, preferably kalamata, niçoise, or black olives, halved (optional)
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ lemon
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a large saucepan, combine the eggs with enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cook the eggs exactly 10 minutes. Carefully pour off the hot water, then shake the saucepan so the eggs bump onto each other to crack the shells. Run cold water over the eggs until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter lengthwise.
2. Meanwhile, cook the green beans: Fill a skillet with 1 inch of water. Add ½ teaspoon salt, and simmer the beans over moderate heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and let sit in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Drain, then chop the beans in half and set aside.
3. Layer a medium or large salad platter with chopped lettuce, green beans, tuna, potatoes (if using), scallions, tomatoes, and basil. Layer the anchovy and/ or olive pieces (if using) on top.
4. Prepare the dressing: Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the vinegar. Then whisk in the mustard, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
5. Just before serving, whisk the dressing again until well blended. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss well to coat, reserving extra dressing to store in the refrigerator (it will keep for a few days). Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Place the egg quarters decoratively across the top of the salad.