Seared Tuna with Puttanesca Sauce

Seared Tuna with Puttanesca Sauce

Someone once told me that a cherry tomato has all of the flavor of a regular tomato, but packed into one tiny bite. They said that all tomatoes essentially have all of the same amount of flavor, no matter the size, which is why cherry and grape tomatoes are so sweet. I'm not sure if this is true--I don't even remember who told me this or where I was- but when you eat puttanesca sauce, you'll believe it. 

Seared Tuna with Puttanesca Sauce

As with most Italian sauces, this one starts with onions and garlic. They're sautéed until they're fragrant and your tummy rumbles, and then in goes a splash of wine, releasing floral aromas. Normally, this is where you'd add those plain-jane Roma tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or even some slicing tomatoes, diced up small. But here is where this sauce takes a delicious turn: swap in sliced cherry tomatoes and allow their natural sugars to caramelize in the pot along with the onions and wine. 

It's probably good enough to eat just like that, tomatoes, onions, and wine, but why stop at good-enough? Add a generous dose of herbs, salty capers, and Kalamata olives. 

Seared Tuna with Puttanesca Sauce

Seared Tuna with Puttanesca Sauce

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Cherry tomatoes make this sauce unbelievably flavorful. Olives and capers accent the tuna.

Serves: 4   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

  • 4 ahi tuna steaks
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt & pepper
  • Splash of dry red wine
  • 2 small fillets of anchovies (canned)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • Dash of cayenne OR pinch of red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon on coconut oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Meanwhile, slice the onion into thin strips and mince the garlic. Add both to the pan once the oil is hot. Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent and you begin to see brown bits.
  2. Add a splash of wine to the pan, and scrape the bottom to release any onion or garlic that may have stuck to the pan. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
  3. Add the sliced tomatoes to the pan, and stir. Stir in the basil, red chili flakes/cayenne, minced anchovies, Kalamata olives and capers. Simmer for 5 more minutes until tomatoes have released their juices and the sauce begins to thicken. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
  4. Now, cook the tuna: heat remaining teaspoon of coconut oil in al are skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil glistens, add the tuna fillets and sear on first side for 1-2 minutes (1 minute for rare, 2 for medium). Flip tuna, and cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot and spoon puttanesca sauce over top.

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Tuna Power Salad

tuna power salad

Long lunch tables were puzzle-pieced together in the the Mesa Elementary cafeteria just so. They were the kind with benches attached to them, and each measured at least 14 feet long. Three of them together must’ve held something like 70 children, with ease. 

A long line would form where food was served, single-file, except for when a kid dodged to the side, trying to get a sneak peak at what was getting served that day. It was a line I barely knew—lunch was packed, just about every day, by my mom or my dad. 

tuna power salad

The menu of the day almost always included leftovers, for me. Leftover pasta salad, leftover chicken, leftover sushi. Some people dislike eating leftovers but I never did, aside from the slight embarrassment I felt when kids asked what I was eating. Looking back they were probably just genuinely curious, but when you’re 7, explaining yourself can feel like the most painful thing in the world. Um… it’s called pomegranate. The other kids: It looks like a brain. 

Despite my fancy sack lunches, my palate could never get over the taste of canned tuna. Gross! I’d opt for salmon salad over tuna and steer far away from anyone that tried to turn it into a sandwich. Crackers were my vehicle of choice. I supposed I set myself up for being asked why my tuna salad was pink.  

tuna power salad

I eventually learned to like tuna salad, the way everyone else learned what a pomegranate was. 

Tuna Power Salad

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free,    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

A little sweet and a little savory! Cranberries, apples and walnuts make this tuna salad a star.

Serves: 2   |    Total Time:



Ingredients:

    For the tuna:
  • 2 cans of tuna
  • 2 tablespoons paleo mayo or, for primal version, yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • For the salad:
  • 4 leafs red lettuce
  • 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 apple, diced
  • Optional: squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 apple, diced

Directions:

  1. Drain water from cans of tuna and place fish in a bowl. Mash with mayo/yogurt, mustard, onion, and poppy seeds. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Arrange lettuce on 2 plates. Pile a scoop of tuna salad over lettuce on each plate. Arrange remaining salad ingredients around tuna salad.
  3. I like to mix everything together when I eat this, which means I don’t really need a salad dressing, but if you want one, or you prefer to not mix everything together on your plate, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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