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Seared Tuna with a Traditional Andalusian Salad

February 2013

This simple salad known in Spain as pipirrana is another form of the famed cold soup, gazpacho. It pairs well with many ingredients. I love to serve it with tuna.
Serves 4

¾ pound of fresh tuna loin
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded
3 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 medium onion, peeled
1 green bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil 
1/8 cup Spanish sherry vinegar
Sea Salt

Cut the cucumber, tomato, onion and peppers into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of the olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and set aside. 

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tuna in the pan and sear on all four sides, allowing the center to stay rare. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and slice 1/2-inch thick pieces.

Spread the vegetables on a small plate and lay the slices of tuna on top. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with salt.

Photograph by Pablo de Loy