Turn to stove instead of can for tasty tuna salad

July 9, 2014 

Tasting a salad made with fresh tuna instead of canned is a treat. Welcome summer in with the fresh flavor and texture of this refreshing dish.

Searing the tuna takes only minutes. Leaving the inside rare keeps the tuna moist and soft with a crisp crust.

The timing is for fish that is 11/2-inch thick. If yours is thicker, add an extra minute to the sitting time. If you prefer the tuna more well done, add an extra minute to the cooking time. HELPFUL HINTS

Shortcut: Look for reduced-fat prepared pesto sauce.

Substitution: Any vinegar and oil dressing can be used.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: This herbal dish would go nicely with an herbal sauvignon blanc.

To buy: 3/4 pound fresh tuna, 1 package prepared reduced-fat pesto, 1 bag Italian-style salad, 1 container pitted black olives, 1 can chickpeas, 1 container grape tomatoes, 1 bunch basil, 1 jar sliced roasted red peppers and 2 whole grain rolls.

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


4 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing

3 tablespoons prepared reduced-fat pesto sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 pound fresh tuna

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad

8 pitted black olives

1/2 cup rinsed and drained chickpeas

1 cup grape tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers

1/2 cup torn basil leaves

2 whole grain rolls

Mix dressing and prepared pesto sauce together; set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna and sear 2 minutes for a 1 1/2-inch thick tuna steak. Turn over tuna and sear other side for 2 minutes. Season cooked fish with salt and pepper. Remove skillet from heat and place tuna on a cutting board. Let rest while arranging the other salad ingredients. Place lettuce on a serving platter. Add olives, chickpeas, tomatoes and roasted red pepper slices. Slice tuna into 1/2-inch slices and place over salad. Sprinkle with basil and drizzle dressing over the tuna and salad. Serve with the rolls. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 554 calories (32 percent from fat); 19.7 g fat (3 g saturated, 8.8 g monounsaturated); 84 mg cholesterol; 53.3 g protein; 40.2 g carbohydrates; 10.5 g fiber; 645 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is t he author, most recently, of “Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com.

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