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Recipe Of The Week: Triathlete’s Nicoise

Looking for a light recovery meal? Give this recipe a try.

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Nicoise salad is nutritionally dense; it fills you up, but isn’t super heavy.  Perfect if you’ve had a big breakfast after training and you’re looking for a lighter lunch or dinner.  Or, you’ve had a shorter training session and your looking for a lighter recovery meal. Makes four servings. 

Lemon-Herb Dressing

¾ cup olive oil
¾ cup white balsamic or white wine vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tsp fresh thyme
1tsp fresh rosemary
2 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp Dijon or stone ground mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix for 30 seconds.  This recipe will make plenty of extra to store in the fridge.  Alternatively, you can buy a light vinaigrette.


8 cups spring mix, approximately 10 oz
16 oz sashimi grade ahi tuna
3-4 cups baby or fingerling potatoes, washed
4 cups green beans, washed and ends removed
4 hardboiled eggs, sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup large black olives, sliced
1 tsp grapeseed or canola oil

Preparation Instructions

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cut fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise and toss with 2-3 tablespoons of the dressing (whether homemade or store bought).  Lay potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Toss potatoes and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool.

3. In the meantime, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.  Reserve a large bowl of ice water.  Add green beans to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and move immediately to the bowl of ice water. This is called “shocking” and will keep the vibrant green color on the beans.

4. Pad the ahi with paper towel. This will ensure a better sear.  Heat oil in a nonstick pan on medium high.  Sear hi 3-5 seconds on each side.  Let rest for a couple of minutes and then cut into slices.

5. Toss the spring mix with 2-3 tablespoons of the salad dressing and divide onto four plates.  Evenly divide (between the four plates) all other ingredients over the spring mix.  This can also be served family style with all ingredients on a large platter.

6. Optional:  Serve with grilled bread or pita, which can also be coated with the dressing before grilling.  This salad works great with other types of fish, shrimp or chicken if you aren’t a raw ahi fan.

Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif.  She is also a professional Xterra triathlete and mountain biker.  Follow Jess’ recipes on her “Fit Food by Jess” Facebook page.

RELATED: Meet Private Chef And Xterra Pro Jessica Cerra