I took a last-minute, surprise trip to the Bay Area this past week, and am now sitting at SFO waiting for my flight to board and take me home to Idaho. Still sounds a bit weird, "leaving SF to fly home." The Bay Area will always be one of my homes, but it is no longer where I live. I was reminded of this over the weekend, seeing friends and family who used to be my everyday and are now my special occasion. I miss them constantly, but now I get to cherish every visit.
It has been an amazing, fun and busy week, and to top it all off, my mother and I snuck in a quick bite at Delfina Pizzeria before I left. Like visits with old friends, meals at Delfina used to be frequent as well, and the Tuna Conserva was always my favorite dish on the menu. Marinated butter beans, so creamy and sweet, albacore tuna with pieces of radicchio mixed in, and a pile of spicy watercress... You know what I ate! Not only was it delicious, but it also reminded me to write another installment of my tuna salad series.
Despite the current weather in San Francisco, it is getting warmer! And with the change in weather I have been craving lighter and brighter dishes. Plus now that Daylight Savings Time is keeping the sun out until after 8pm, before I know it my watch reads 6 o'clock and it's already time to start getting dinner on the table.
The Man calls anything with tuna and greens "Niçoise". Typically he's referring to my Radicchio White Bean Salad or even my Seared Ahi and Avocado Salsa, and apparently he qualifies this dish as Niçoise as well... (Don't tell the French.) Affectionate moniker aside, any sort of tuna with salad is great for the aforementioned spring and summer days that seem to fly by. And this is one of my favorites!
Adapted from an Ina Garten recipe, I've altered her seared tuna and served it with greens to make a refreshing and satisfying entrée salad. It is fast and simple enough for a weeknight, yet impressive enough for company.
SEARED TUNA AND AVOCADO SALAD
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for grilling
- 1 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
- 8-12 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 scallions, white and green parts sliced
- 2 ripe Hass avocados, diced into 1/2 - 1" cubes
- 1.5 pounds fresh Albacore tuna steak
- 5 oz salad greens (spring mix or arugula is best)
- 1/2 small head red cabbage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, wasabi powder, Bragg Liquid Aminos, Tabasco, lime zest and juice, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the red onion and scallions. Set aside.
Heat your grill over high. Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your steak. You want to sear the tuna on each side, but not let it cook through. Transfer to a cutting board and slice diagonally. Add the tuna and avocado to the marinade and toss to coat.
Toss the salad greens and cabbage in a large bowl. Place the tuna and avocado mixture over the greens, drizzling any remaining dressing on top. Garnish with sesame seeds, and serve!