Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tuna Salad Nicoise-Style

I heart a good salad, especially one that has lots of goodies in it like this one. And they don't require a whole lot of cooking skills or time, so....double bonus! This recipe doesn't have a salad "dressing" per se, but a Sundried Tomato Pesto sauce that I topped the tuna with and also splattered over the salad greens....HALLELUJAH!! (read with vibrato).

1 pound wild-caught ahi tuna steaks, cut into three portions
Cajun seasoning
Olive oil

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
7-8 whole sundried tomatoes, in oil
4-6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic (I was lazy and used the jarred!)
Salt and Fresh cracked pepper to taste

3 eggs
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
Kalamata olives
Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Avocado slices
6-8 cups assorted salad greens

For the Pesto:

Place the basil and sundried tomatoes in your food processer and pulse a few times to chop them up a bit. Add in the garlic, pine nuts, salt and some fresh cracked pepper and let this blend for a few seconds until the basil mixture forms a paste. Then with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until it becomes a thin paste. I wanted it a bit thick but if you want it more like your typical salad dressing you could just add more oil until it becomes a dressing consistency. Set aside in a small bowl.

For the Toppings:

Place the three eggs in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes or so. While the eggs are cooking you can also steam the green beans in a medium saucepan over medium heat. After the eggs are cooked, let them cool in cold water. Once the beans are cooked al dente, drain them and set aside while you slice the red onions and the avocado. Once that's completed, peel the eggs and cut each one in half.

For the Tuna:

Place the tuna steaks in a small bowl with some cajun seasoning to taste. Drizzle a little olive oil over the fish and make sure it coats the fish all around. Warm a medium-sized skillet over medium heat along with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the tuna steaks for about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on your taste. I'm not such a fan of the rare tuna. I get that seared tuna is "the way to be" these days but I like my fish cooked through. If you like rare tuna, cook for 1-2 minutes per side.

Once the tuna is cooked you are ready to assemble your salad! I piled a bunch of salad greens on my plate and just topped with a little bit of everything, including the pesto sauce on top of my fish. Add as little or as much of the toppings as you want, and enjoy a scrumptious salad!!!! And yes....I ate that whole (pictured) salad for dinner. What?

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