Cooking for one – a one pan sort-of Niçoise

This is not an official salad Niçoise.  For one, a salad Niçoise by mandate, should be eaten while wearing nautical stripes and over large sunglasses on the Côte d’Azur . For two, it should be made with tinned tuna, olives, capers and peppers.

This, has none of those things.

What it does have is a tuna steak (sustainably sourced if you can, please), green beans, a coddled egg, some green herbs, lemon and leaves.

None of which are all that impressive. What is impressive is that it cooks all in the one pan. Even the egg, in its shell.

One pan, one plate, ten minutes and a perfect meal for one.

It takes ten minutes for an egg to cook through its shell in a dry pan to a good state of coddled  The fish only takes three to four, the beans and the lemon even less.

At the end you’ll have a seared fillet of tuna, some nice leaves, greens- and a ready made dressing, from the burnished lemon and the egg yolk.

And best of all, you’ll only have one pan to wash.

One pan sort- of Niçoise salad

Serves 1   

Or, if you’ve got a spare seven minutes in your day, here’s a dippy video of me making it.


1 non stick fry pan. 1 knife. 1 plate. 1 pair of tongs.


One 200 gram piece of tuna (hopefully sustainably sourced).
A handful of green beans
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A small handful of basil leaves
Half a lemon
1 egg
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 handful of flaked almonds (optional)
Salt and pepper

Here’s how we roll

1.    Put an egg in a dry pan and turn it up to high. Set a timer for ten minutes. Leave the egg in the pan for five minutes while you make a gin and tonic, get the rest of the ingredients out and unpack the dishwasher or open your mail.

2.    After six minutes add half a lemon to the pan, face down to check if the pan is hot enough for the fish. (The egg yolk and the burnished lemon will form your dressing for your beans and leaves).

3.   Dry your piece of tuna well with a paper towel. Rub with the garlic clove and season with salt and pepper.

4.    Add a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of trimmed green beans to the pan.

5.    Add the piece of tuna and some almonds, if you have them.

6.    While the tuna is cooking assemble your salad. Put a big handful of mixed leaves (rocket, baby spinach, watercress) and a handful of torn basil leaves on the plate.

7.    Check your tuna. When it has gone opaque half way up the fillet, flip it over.

8.    Rotate your egg. If it’s come from the fridge it may crack in the middle slightly, but don’t worry. That’s where you’re going to cut it anyway.

9.    Add a handful of cut cherry tomatoes onto the salad.

10.    Take the tuna out of the pan- you want it to still be a little rare in the middle.

11.    Add the beans and the lemon and the tuna to the plate. Squeeze the lemon over the fish and the leaves.

12.    Crack the egg  in the middle over the leaves. The yolk will run over the leaves and form a dressing. You can scrape out the white for extra protein.

13.    Season with lots of cracked black pepper .

Other chapters in ‘Cooking for one’

Tapas for one

One pan seabass with beans, burnt butter and yogurt

Miso salmon with zucchini noodles

Moroccan mince with carrot 

  1. That is absolute genius. I am slightly surprised the egg didn't crack though!

  2. cooking an egg with it's shell in a pan? ingenious!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I have to admit to never ordering nicoise salad, but your version with fresh tuna looks yummy.

  4. Love this one pan idea! It looks great Tori.

  5. Incredible! I love the fact that you seem to share my obsession with minimizing washing up. Love your recipes!

  6. awesome recipe! loving the one pan washing idea 😉

  7. Oh wow- that's such a smart way of cooking 😉 I have never seen egg cooked like that!! It sounds fun- I might have to try that some time 😀 The salad looks delicious too- especially with the runny egg yolk!!

  8. This looks awesome! Great photo as well! xxx

  9. I am often cooking for one so your site is the perfect solution.

  10. What a great blog! I had a salald niçoise the other day and it was served with a poached egg; loved it! Thank you for your visit.

  11. I love Niçoise salad…this looks beautiful. The egg surprises me, too…but I must try that 😀

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