Salade Nicoise

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Ingredients

The salad:

8 small potatoes (though waxy white fleshed potatoes are classic, I have taken a passion to a selection of potato: white flesh (either white or red skin), yellow flesh (such as Yukon gold) and blue)

8 to 12 ounces young fresh green beans (preferably haricots verts, the very thin green beans), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths

2 to 3 large fresh beets, or 1 package vacuum-packed cooked beets (see Note)

1 head lettuce such as romaine, butter, oakleaf, or other crunchy, fresh variety

2 cups arugula leaves

2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 small to medium red onion, peeled and cut crosswise into thin rings

4 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and cut into halves

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin rings

1 green bell pepper, cut into thin rings

1/2 cup black Mediterranean olives, unpitted, preferably Nicoise, or oil-cured black olives

2 cans solid white tuna (10 ounces total) such as Ortiz brand or other olive oil-packed jarred tuna from Spain, Italy or Peru

-- About 2 tablespoons chopped chives

-- About 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chervil (optional)

-- Several sprigs of sweet basil, thinly sliced

The dressing:

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

-- Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

-- About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-- Freshly ground black pepper

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