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The Pollan Family Table Recipe: Mediterranean Salad with Seared Tuna

PollanFamily_Mediterranean-Salad-with-Seared-Tuna_400 This vibrant, protein-rich salad is a meal all by itself—but truly perfect as part of a brunch or summer gathering. From The Pollan Family Table.

4 servings

FROM THE MARKET
Sushi-grade ahi tuna (four 4-ounce steaks, at least 1 inch thick)
Romaine lettuce (3 hearts)
Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (1 bunch)
Fresh lemon thyme or, if not available, fresh thyme (2 sprigs)
Green beans (4 ounces)
Persian cucumbers (3 small) or seedless cucumber (1 large)
Grape tomatoes (½ pint)
Red onion (1 medium)
Small red or white potatoes (12 ounces)
Shallot (1)
Garlic (1 clove)
Lemon (1)
Assorted pitted Mediterranean olives, such as kalamata, lugano, or gaeta (8 ounces)

FROM THE PANTRY
Dijon mustard (1 teaspoon)
Dried oregano (¼ teaspoon)
Red wine vinegar (2 tablespoons)
Extra virgin olive oil (½ cup plus 2 teaspoons)
Kosher salt
Black pepper

This salad is a complete meal replete with heart-healthy ingredients and delicious fresh and savory flavors. To get the full spectrum of the Mediterranean diet, we love to pair this with a glass of red wine.

FOR THE DRESSING
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon finely chopped shallot
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon fresh lemon thyme, or fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE TUNA AND SALAD
Four 4-ounce sushi-grade ahi tuna steaks, at least 1 inch thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced Persian or seedless cucumbers, cut ½ inch thick
1 cup sliced red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
3 teaspoons chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
12 ounces small red or white potatoes, halved
1 cup sliced green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Romaine lettuce hearts, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup assorted pitted Mediterranean olives

FOR THE DRESSING
In a small mixing bowl, combine the mustard, garlic, shallot, oregano, and thyme. Add the vinegar and lemon juice, and whisk to blend. Pour in ½ cup of oil in a slow stream and continue to whisk until emulsified. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.

FOR THE TUNA AND SALAD
Season the tuna steaks generously with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the salad dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion, 1 teaspoon of the parsley, and 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Mix well and set aside.

Place the potatoes in a large pot; add water to cover by 2 inches and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon (leave the water boiling) and place them in a small mixing bowl. Spoon on 1 tablespoon of the dressing, add 1 teaspoon of the parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Fill a mixing bowl with water and ice cubes. Add the green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to the bowl of ice water until cool. Drain again and dry on paper towels.

Remove the tuna from the refrigerator. Set a medium skillet over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and heat until smoking hot. Place the tuna in the pan and sear for 1 ½ minutes on one side. Flip and cook for an additional 1 ½ minutes (for rare). Transfer to a cutting board and allow the tuna to rest for 5 minutes. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut it against the grain into ½-inch slices.

If the dressing has separated, whisk again to reemulsify. Place the lettuce, green beans, and the remaining dressing in a large salad bowl and toss. Arrange the greens on individual plates and top each with potatoes, cucumbers and their dressing, tomatoes, and olives. Place a sliced tuna steak on top of each salad. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

TIP: You can prepare your dressing up to 2 days ahead. Whisk it to reemulsify before using, or shake well if stored in a jar.

Excerpted from THE POLLAN FAMILY TABLE by Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan. Copyright © 2014 by Old Harvest Way, LLC. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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