Lightning-Fast, and Oh So Tasty

Pressed for time yet still want a nutritious, tasty meal? Here’s your answer: Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks with Warm Tomato, Basil, and Olive Salad. Searing tuna steaks is lightning-fast; they cook to medium-rare in less than five minutes, and the accompanying zesty tomato-olive salad takes only a few minutes more. Viola! Dinner Done.

Couscous, our side dish, has never tasted so good. This hybrid recipe of couscous incorporates scallions and fresh corn, which I threw in because I had one ear leftover from a previous meal and wanted to use it up. No need to precook either. Just cut the kernels off of a fresh cob if necessary because the kernels will tenderize during the cooking process.



  • 4 5-oz. boneless, skinless tuna steaks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cups mixed yellow and red grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted green olives, such as picholine or Cerignola
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice


  1. Season the tuna with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4  tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the tuna in the skillet in a single layer and cook, turning once, until done to your liking (3 to 4 minutes for medium rare). Transfer the tuna to a large plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until golden-brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper; cook until warmed through and the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and gently stir in the lemon juice.
  3. Transfer the tuna to plates, top with the tomato salad, and serve.

These two large tuna steaks were cooked perfectly at two minutes per side over a hot burner.

After removing the fish, you may need to add some more olive oil to sauté the shallots.

After the shallots are tender, toss in the grape tomatoes, olives and basil.

Spoon the warm tomato salad directly over the platter of tuna steaks.

By Liz Pearson

Side Dish:
Couscous with Cilantro, Corn and Melted Scallions



  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions (whites and 2 inches of greens), minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 10-oz. (1-1/2 cups, or 1 box) couscous
  • 3 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Kernels from one ear of fresh corn
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime



  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, add the scallions and corn kernels, and cook, covered, until tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the cilantro, couscous, broth, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste.
  3. Stir, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Taste for salt, add a large grinding of pepper, and season with some of the lemon or lime juice.
  5. Top with some leftover scallion greens.

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