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.

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Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.

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

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

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

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

By Liz Pearson

Side Dish:
Couscous with Cilantro, Corn and Melted Scallions

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Ingredients

  • 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

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Directions

  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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