Beat the heat with this cool tuna salad

Here’s a cool salad for a hot summer evening. The flavor and texture of just-cooked fresh tuna tops a refreshing salad of lettuce, sugar snap peas, corn and grape tomatoes. Seared Fresh Tuna salad is not your ordinary tuna salad.

Searing tuna and leaving the inside uncooked keeps the tuna moist and soft. The fish is quickly seared and finishes cooking in its own heat. It has a crisp crust and remains red inside.

The timing is for fish that is 1 inch thick. If yours is thicker, add an extra minute to the sitting time. If you prefer the tuna more well done, add 2 minutes to the cooking time.

Look for yellowfin tuna (also known as ahi) at the fish counter. It will be delicious for this dinner and is considered an environmentally friendly fish. Bonito is a good alternative. It contains more oil.

Helpful hints:

Sesame seeds can be found in the spice section of the supermarket. Store the jar in the refrigerator.

To save preparation time, look for sugar snap peas that have already been trimmed.

To defrost corn kernels, place in a microwave oven for 1 minute or place the corn in a colander and run under warm water.


Preheat oven for bread.

Prepare dressing and salad vegetables.

Prepare tuna.

Shopping list:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 3/4 pound fresh tuna steak, 1 small jar or package sesame seeds, 1 jar prepared horseradish, 1 small French baguette, 1 package frozen corn, 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, 1 package grape or cherry tomatoes, and 8 ounces fresh baby greens or mesclun.

Staples: olive oil, reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing, salt and black peppercorns.

Seared Fresh Tuna Salad

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

4 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2-cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted

3/4 pound fresh tuna steak

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 French baguette (about 4 slices)

8 ounces fresh baby greens or mesclun (about 4 cups)

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees to warm bread.

Wash and trim sugar snap peas if not already trimmed.

Microwave method: Place sugar snap peas in a bowl and cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high 2 minutes.

Stove-top method: Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add sugar snap peas and bring back to a boil. Drain and rinse in cold water.

While sugar snap peas cook, mix vinaigrette dressing and horseradish in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar snap peas and corn. Toss well.

Wash tuna and pat dry with paper towels. Dip in sesame seeds to coat both sides, pressing seeds into the fish. Preheat a medium size nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil and sear tuna for 2 minutes on each side. Salt and pepper the cooked side. Cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let sit 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium rare.

Place baguette in oven to warm. Divide baby greens between 2 dinner plates. Spoon sugar snap peas and corn onto greens, leaving some of the dressing behind. Add tomatoes. Slice tuna into strips and arrange on top. Pour remaining dressing over top. Serve with warm baguette.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 642 calories (23 percent from fat), 16.1 g fat (2.7 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), 80 mg cholesterol, 54.8 g protein, 69.6 g carbohydrates, 11.5 g fiber, 391 mg sodium.

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