Weeknight Shorts: Fast Fish

Late spring and summer are salad days for me. In fact, they are vital to busy schedules for me. When I have less than an hour to make dinner, eat, and get to puppy classes midweek, the only way that's going to happen is if I have a quick salad to toss together. Does that mean I'm chomping iceberg lettuce over the sink? Hardly:

However, in this case, it means a quick sear of still-frozen ahi tuna and putting it over an amazing bed of greens and veggies (mostly provided by my CSA share) and drizzling it with a spicy dressing that literally involves three ingredients and shaking a bottle. I toss the salad plates and skillet in the sink when it's done and we're ready to see if the puppy has mastered the concept of heel yet!

For me, what makes this salad work is a hot sear that leaves the center of the tuna thawed, but still raw. I adore tuna this way and will seek it out even when I've got lots of time (I'll get back to you when I figure out when that is!). The salad part is literally tossed together by blending some of the contents of our fantastic CSA box and you can tweak your own version to suit your tastes and the contents of your refrigerator. The idea is to have a bright, beautiful bed of greens and vegetables (or fruit!) to nestle this amazing fish into. Then grab a fork and dig in!

Seared Tuna Spring Salad

  • 12 oz. quick frozen ahi tuna (get high quality, frozen on the boat fish)
  • 1 tsp. spicy seasoning of your choice (I used Penzeys Bangkok Blend)
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 6 oz. fresh asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 oz. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 6 oz. pea vine, coarsely chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced fine
  • 2-3 red mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings
  • 3 T. mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. sriracha, according to tastes
  • 2 tsp. black sesame seeds

Prepare the fish by rubbing the flat sides of the frozen tuna with the seasoning. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a skillet and place the pieces of tuna into the hot oil. Allow the fish to sear for 2-3 minutes per side and then remove to a cutting board to rest (you can cook the fish more, but I love raw tuna with just a tiny edge of seared flesh surrounding it). Add the asparagus to the skillet and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from the heat.

On two large serving plates, arrange the spinach, pea vine, green onions, sweet peppers, and cooked asparagus. Slice the tuna to your desired thickness and arrange over the top of the greens.

Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, and sriracha in a small resealable jar and shake vigorously to combine. Drizzle the resulting dressing generously over the salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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