Some people might argue that you can't make a nicoise salad without anchovies and olives, but Amanda Haas would disagree. 

Haas, the author of a new cookbook called "The Vibrant Life," shared her modernized take on this French classic, which almost always includes olives, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and those small salty anchovies so common along the Mediterranean coast. Her version uses poached tuna as the center of the dish, as well as radishes, avocado, cucumbers, green onions and a honey-sweetened curry aioli dressing. No tomatoes. No anchovies. No olives. No vinaigrette.

You could, of course, add those ingredients if you'd like, but a key takeaway here is upgrading from canned tuna. In the U.S., we don't have access to the same quality of canned fish that Europeans do, unless you seek it out in a high-end specialty shop, so try her method of poaching a filet of ahi tuna in olive oil instead.

Modern Salade Nicoise With Poached Tuna and Curry Aioli Dressing

The twist on this salade nicoise is that the typical aioli becomes a creamy curry-infused vinaigrette, lending a depth of flavor and an anti-inflammatory punch that is often lacking. One tip for poaching tuna: The fish needs to be completely submerged in oil to cook evenly, so use the smallest saucepan that still allows the tuna to rest flat on the bottom. Then you’ll use less oil!

— Amanda Haas

For the tuna:

One (1-pound) ahi tuna filet, about 1 inch thick

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

4 strips lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

4 cups olive oil, plus more as needed

For the curry aioli dressing:

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 teaspoons honey

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed

For the salad:

2 romaine hearts, shredded

1/4 head radicchio, shredded

3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

8 ounces haricots verts, blanched (optional)

4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered

1 avocado, sliced

6 green onions, sliced

4 radishes, thinly sliced or quartered

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

To make the tuna: Rinse the tuna and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and let rest for 10 minutes.

Place the lemon zest strips and garlic in a saucepan just large enough to fit the fish. Add oil to a depth that will cover the fish, at least 1 1/2 inch. Heat over low heat until the oil registers 180 degrees. Gently lower the fish into the oil and return the heat to 180 degrees. Cook until the fish is opaque but still pink at the center, about 7 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter or cutting board.

To make the curry aioli dressing: Whisk the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, curry powder, honey and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the water to reach a pourable consistency, adding a little more if necessary. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

To assemble the salad: Arrange the romaine, radicchio, cucumbers, haricots verts (if using), eggs, avocado, green onions and radishes on a platter, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tuna on top and sprinkle with the chives. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. Serves 4.

— From "The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well" by Amanda Haas (Chronicle Books, $29.95)