Building Texture

Sometimes I'm on my own for dinner and, when I am, I turn to simple meals that let me become a bit of a food artist. I love combining colors, flavors, and textures on a plate. And when that plate is fortunate enough to include seared tuna, I'm a happy woman:

This particular salad was all about finding something delightfully crunchy to stand against the nearly silky texture of the seared tuna. My choice? Dried green beans. They crunch nearly like a potato chip without all the added fat and salt. I also decided that a sprinkling of sesame seeds would be a fun crunchy addition.

As I mentioned, the tuna was tender and silky. I also added finely grated carrots, which add sweetness, color, and almost a bit of softness when finely grated. And, of course, this all plays out on a bed of beautiful fresh greens. The final touch is a spicy dressing that ties it all together. After a few days devoted to decadence and a bit of overindulgence, it's nice to know you can eat well for your body and soul … all on one plate!

Texture-Happy Tuna Salad

  • 1 T. cooking fat (I used sesame oil)
  • 1 small serving ahi tuna
  • 2 c. mixed greens
  • 1 c. dried green beans
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. tamari
  • 1 tsp. chili oil
  • 2 tsp. black sesame seeds

Heat the cooking fat of your choice over medium-high heat in a small nonstick skillet. Once hot, add the tuna and sear on both sides, giving it 1-2 minutes to cook. Remove the tuna from the pan and allow to rest on a cutting board. Slice it carefully into thin strips and set aside.

On a serving plate, arrange the greens, dried beans, and grated carrot. Add the seared tuna.

Combine the vinegar, tamari, and chili oil in a small, resealable jar. Shake vigorously and drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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