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Seared Tuna Salad

The dressing for this salad includes tahini, a thick paste made of ground sesame seeds that is popular in Middle Eastern cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tuna steaks, about 1 1/2 lb. total, each about 1 inch thick
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz. green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
  • 1/2 lb. mixed salad greens

Directions:

Season the tuna and cook the beans
Place the tuna on a plate and season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper; set aside. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook until crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, place under cold running water until cool, then drain again and set aside.

Make the dressing
Place a heavy fry pan over low heat to preheat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, the 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Sear the tuna and finish the salad
Increase the heat under the fry pan to medium-high and pour in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tuna and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides but still rare in the center, 4 to 8 minutes total, depending on the thickness. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and cut on the diagonal into thin slices.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the greens and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the greens on individual plates. Add a little of the remaining dressing to the beans and toss to coat evenly, then divide between the greens. Fan the tuna slices over the salads, drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).