When the temperature rises, as it has done so gloriously in the last few weeks, our culinary inclinations turn outside.
When the temperature rises, as it has done so gloriously in the last few weeks, our culinary inclinations turn outside. The grill beckons, and our meals tend to flow from there. This tuna was a weeknight crowd pleaser. Rounded out with a simple herbed sweet potato salad and an arugula salad tossed with apricots and some other interesting bits, Tuesday night felt downright festive. The fact that it was a chametz-free meal made it ideal for this week, but this menu is a corker and will join the regular rotation for the remainder of grilling season.
Grilled Tuna with Olive Tapenade
For the tapenade:
⅔ cup pitted olives
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
4 tuna steaks, 1 inch thick
¼ cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Prepare tapenade: Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor and set aside. This can be done up to a week ahead.
In a shallow glass dish, mix the marinade ingredients and add the tuna steaks, turning them a few times to ensure thorough coating. Allow to sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
Heat a grill to medium-high. Place steaks on the grill and sear one minute. Rotate the steaks clockwise a quarter of a circle (do not flip) to make hash marks. Grill one minute more. Flip steaks and repeat this procedure on the reverse side. This is for medium-rare fish, which is how many prefer tuna. For well-done fish, if you must, give it another minute or so on each side. Serve slathered with tapenade.
Herbed Sweet Potato Salad
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
½ onion, chopped
¼ cup sliced basil leaves
½ tsp. kosher salt
a few grinds from a
1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a large pot of salted water, boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool.
While the sweet potatoes cook, place remaining ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. When the sweet potatoes are cooled to room temparture, pour them into the bowl and mix thoroughly to coat. (If you pour them in too hot they will steam cook and wilt the fresh basil.)
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Note: you may substitute other herbs for the basil or omit it if desired.
Arugula, Apricot and Pumpkin Seed Salad
For the salad:
1 5-oz. box arugula
8 dried apricots, cut in
1 ripe avodado, cut in small chunks
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsps. crumbled ricotta, salata or feta cheese
For the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
⅛ cup balsamic vinegar
generous pinch salt
a few grinds of pepper from
a sprinkle of garlic powder
Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
Sprinkle dressing ingredients over salad and toss well.
My weeknight schedule did not permit a homemade dessert, and by the time the last bite was swallowed, the family had scampered off toward homework, showers, and the Phillies game on TV. But if I were to recreate this meal on a weekend for company, I would chase it with a strawberry fool, which can be found at jewishexponent.com/blog/fool-me-once.